The perception of vaping around the world is a mixed bag, which includes a lot of inaccuracies. For example, in the US, a recent study showed that one in twenty people believe that e-cigarettes are more dangerous than traditional cigarettes, despite the former containing a fraction of the dangerous chemicals of the latter.
While vaping is much more widespread in the UK, there is still much misinformation in the media regarding the practice and this has led to a warped view by those who have done little research themselves.
When the Royal College of Physicians announced their findings on e-cigarettes in April declaring that they are at least 95% healthier than smoking, it often seemed that many news outlets preferred to focus on stories with more of an ‘edge’ – for example the planned ban on public vaping in Wales, or how the FDA and EU continue to advocate the benefits of e-cigarettes as an effective smoking cessation device.
In a world where deaths caused by smoking number in the millions across the globe, many feel that surely it should be a priority for the UK government to ensure that people are in full possession of the facts.
Battle against vaping misconceptions
Last week, MP for Rugby and Chairman of the APPG on e-cigarettes Mark Pawsey gave evidence to parliament, with regard to ensuring that smokers considering e-cigarettes are aware of the benefits of vaping.
Accompanied by a number of acclaimed scientists, cancer charities and pro-vaping campaigners, including Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England, Professor Peter Hajek, and the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, amongst others, Pawsey gave the attending peers and MPs evidence on the subject in an effort to improve its reputation.
The number one complaint against vaping today is the lack of long-term health studies, which is unavoidable considering the short length of time e-cigarettes have been available.
But as Tom Pinlac, a pro-vaping campaigner from the Philippines, recently stated: “If we had waited for [long-term] clinical studies and scientific certainty, we wouldn’t have seat belts, motorcycle helmets, cleaner fuel, or healthier foods.”
Those who hope to see vaping promoted as a more effective alternative to nicotine gums, patches and inhalers believe that the public’s perception of e-cigarettes is the largest threat to the acceptance of vaping as a force for good – so this latest meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group is seen a major step forward in the battle against misinformation.