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expert reaction to smokers’ perceptions of vaping

Research published in Addiction claims that a large proportion of UK smokers and ex-smokers overestimate the relative harmfulness of e-cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy compared with smoking.

Prof Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), said:

“This is an important study with serious implications for public health. Vaping poses only a small fraction of risks of smoking, but over the past few years, we have seen a barrage of misinformation about e-cigarettes that has been persuading smokers that vaping is dangerous and that they should stick to smoking. Some ‘fake news’ are of little importance, but this study shows that fake news on dangers of e-cigarettes did penetrate the public consciousness and are likely to be harming public health. Health organisations and responsible media now face an urgent task to correct this misinformation.”

‘Harm perceptions of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products in a UK sample’ by Samara Wilson et al. was published in Addiction at 00.01 UK time on Friday 4 January 2019.

Declared interests

None to declare.

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