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Fewer smokers believe e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to cigarettes
Date:5/15/2014

Ann Arbor, MI, May 15, 2014 E-cigarettes are gaining mainstream attention as a competitor to traditional cigarettes. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wanted to examine changes in e-cigarette awareness, how harmful people believe them to be, and if those attitudes have any connection to smoking cessation attempts. They found that while awareness of e-cigarettes has increased significantly, smokers are less inclined to consider them safer than cigarettes. Also, investigators discovered that awareness did not show evidence of promoting smoking cessation. Their findings are published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

It is predicted that e-cigarette sales will soon reach 1.7 billion dollars, which represents roughly 1% of current regular cigarette sales in the U.S. This is due in part to the surge in marketing and increasing availability of e-cigarette products in the last few years. E-cigarettes are perceived as an invention that competes with tobacco cigarettes. While some people and advertisements even go so far as to refer to them as cessation aids, they are not currently approved by the FDA for that purpose.

In this new study, researchers set out to examine the prevalence of e-cigarette awareness and perceived harmfulness. Using data collected from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), they discovered that national awareness of e-cigarettes has risen from 16.4% in 2009 to 77.1% in 2013. Young people, more educated respondents, and current and former smokers were more likely to be aware of e-cigarettes, while Hispanics and older survey participants were less likely to be aware of e-cigarettes.

"Compared with earlier national surveys among U.S. adults, this study found a notable increase in public awareness of e-cigarettes since 2009," explains co-investigator Andy Tan, MBBS, MPH, MBA, PhD, Center of Excellence i
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Contact: Angela J. Beck
ajpmmedia@elsevier.com
734-764-8775
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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