E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

Latest Eurobarometer Survey Reveals Widespread Ignorance About E-cigarettes

The newly published Eurobarometer survey on tobacco and electronic cigarettes has revealed the shocking level of ignorance of European citizens when it comes to vaping.

If you’ve been following scientific research on vaping, you probably already know that there is ample evidence that electronic cigarettes are vastly better that tobacco cigarettes, from a health standpoint, and also that e-cigs can help smokers quit. But getting this information out there, making sure it reaches the general public, has always been a big problem. Unless you routinely visit vaping-themes news websites, you virtually never get to read about all these studies and surveys that are being conducted all the time.

Instead, people go on mainstream news website and absorb all the misinformation and downright lies that are being spewed about e-cigarettes by organizations and companies that have a vested interest in seeing vaping banned, or at least taxed into oblivion and reduced to a minor habit.

One of the most frequently used lies is that ‘we just don’t know enough about e-cigarettes’, so saying that they are safer than tobacco smoking or that they can help smokers quit is irresponsible. The reality is that vaping is one of the most researched innovations of the 21st century. There are new studies coming out virtually every week, and they’ve now been around for almost two decades, so we actually do know a lot about them.

The long-term effects of vaping are definitely still worth studying, and as new styles of devices and new e-liquids hit the market, there’s going to be a need for scientific research, to avoid getting episodes like the EVALI epidemic, which pretty much ruined the image of vaping globally, even though it was later proven that the condition had nothing to do with e-cigarette use.

Anyway, the point is that there is a lot of misinformation and propaganda being promoted by corporate news media, and studies have shown that the public perception of vaping and e-cigarettes has changed drastically over the last few years. Even in the UK, a country where public health authorities have actually been recommending e-cigarettes as a tool for smoking cessation, public opinion about vaping has worsened over the last couple of years.

But the UK is still doing a lot better than European Union countries where the most recent Eurobarometer survey on tobacco and electronic cigarette has revealed some truly shocking information.

The survey shows that among people who have had vey little experience with vaping, only 20% believe that e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products can help smokers quit, while 70% of them think they don’t.

Out of all the respondents included in this large-scale survey, a whopping 65% believed e-cigarettes to be harmful to the health of their users, even though scientific data shows the exact opposite is true. Just a few years ago, the same Eurobarometer survey showed that just over 25% of people believed vaping to be harmful to users’ health, today it worryingly reveals that a large proportion of the public believes e-cigs to be just as bad or worse than tobacco cigarettes.

Even more worrying is the fact that 47 per cent of  respondents said that they would be in favor of an e-liquid flavor ban, while 71% of those who reported very little experience with vaping answered that e-cigarettes should be regulated as strictly as tobacco cigarettes.

So what has happened in Europe? How did a tool that was one touted as having the potential to render tobacco cigarettes obsolete in just a generation and save millions of human life become a big health threat in the eyes of the majority?

Well, I think there is no simple answer to that question. There are many factors that have contributed to the current situation, and, sadly, there is no easy way to fix it. On the one hand, EU policy makers have always been biased against electronic cigarettes, and that hasn’t helped things. Instead of following the science and educating the people on the subject, they preferred the conservative approach, strictly regulating vaping and essentially treating it like tobacco smoking.

Then there is the junk science from the other side of the pond. The media doesn’t miss any opportunity to put vaping in a bad light, so they pick up the dumbest studies, from research on zebra fish, to so-called scientific studies that ultimately get retracted, but not before doing the damage they were created for.

Episodes like the EVALI health crisis were devastating to the image of electronic cigarettes as well, and the fact that the CDC and other authorities didn’t to a decent job of clarifying that it wasn’t regular e-liquid, but Vitamin E acetate-juice causing the problem didn’t help much either.

Supporters of vaping and companies in this industry bear some of the blame as well, as we have not being doing enough to get the right information out there, if only to counter all the lies spewed by e-cigarette opponents.

One thing is for sure, if things continue this way, vaping will no longer be relevant as a tool for smoking cessation, and millions of lives will be lost.

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