A recently published Eurobarometer survey reveals widespread ignorance about e-cigarettes. Most people do not smoke or vape and therefore have little reason to educate themselves about these products, but it is nevertheless troubling that public understanding has gone backwards in recent years.
The survey shows that among those who have little or no experience with vaping, only 20 percent think e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products help smokers quit. Seventy percent think they do not.
The proportion of all respondents who believe that e-cigarettes are ‘harmful to the health of their users’ increased from 27 percent in 2012 to 65 percent in 2020.
The survey does not ask what they mean by ‘harmful’ and no one claims that e-cigarettes are completely risk-free, but there are indications elsewhere that the average member of the public thinks the risks are much greater than they are. A study published last year found that 59 per cent of Europeans wrongly believe that vaping is as dangerous or more dangerous than smoking.
Christopher Snowdon – NewEurope – March 17, 2021.