Despite media efforts to put electronic cigarettes in a bad light over the last few years, the recently published results of an international study shows the general public views these gadgets as beneficial compared to traditional cigarettes.
You’re not going to find too many positive articles about e-cigarettes. Instead of focusing on the clear positive effects of using them as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, most major media outlets have been focusing on the potential dangers of long-term vaping and nicotine content. As of yet, there is no clear evidence that using electronic cigarettes has any kind of serious side-effects, apart from sustaining nicotine addiction. As for the presence of this strongly-addictive substance, studies have shown that by itself it’s just a stimulant, not unlike caffeine. Sure it’s preferable smokers quit cigarettes completely, instead of replacing them with another kind of nicotine delivery device, but for those who just can’t beat the addiction, e-cigarettes are an alternative worth considering.
Luckily, it seems the efforts of those who would have electronic cigarettes banned didn’t quite have the desired effect. A study, conducted by researchers from four countries (United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia), shows awareness of e-cigarettes is on the rise, and that most people view them as beneficial. After examining data from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four-Country Survey, researchers found that electronic nicotine delivery system awareness has reached 47% . The highest percentage of people who know about electronic cigarettes was recorded in the US, where 73% of those questioned have at least heard about these revolutionary devices, while in Australia, where e-cigs are banned, 20% of those surveyed knew about them. Of those aware, 16% had ever used e-cigarettes. The data was collected from 6,000 individuals through web and phone surveys from July 2010 to June 2011.
Apart from a growing awareness of electronic cigarettes, the research conducted by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute also revealed that over 70% of respondents believed electronic cigarettes were less harmful that tobacco cigarettes. *0% of those who actually used e-cigarettes said they used them because they considered them less harmful than analogs, 75% said they used them to cut down on tobacco cigs, while almost 75% said they used e-cigs as a way to access nicotine in smoke-free places.
“This study represents a snapshot in time of the use of Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) from mid-2010 to mid-2011,” said lead investigator Richard J. O’ConnorO’Connor. “As the market evolves, awareness, trial, and use of ENDS is likely to increase. Should regulatory authorities approve direct claims about reduced harm, one might expect greater adoption of these products, at least among current cigarette smokers. If credible evidence can be provided to regulators, through independently researched, well-controlled studies, that ENDS reduces the number of cigarette smokers and does not attract use among nonsmokers, then the net public health effect is likely to be positive.”
According to Eureka Alerts, the relatively high level of awareness even in countries where electronic cigarettes are banned, may be proof of the Internet’s promotion of the product.