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

n Cancer Communication Research, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. "In the beginning of 2013, more than three in four respondents were aware of this novel product. The rise in awareness of e-cigarettes could reflect sharp increases in advertising expenditures by manufacturers, availability in retail stores across the country, and presence in popular media."

The study also looked at the perceived harmfulness of e-cigarettes among current smokers. In 2010, 84.7% of smokers surveyed believed e-cigarettes were less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but according to this new study in 2013, that number dropped to just 65%.

"This apparent decline in smokers' beliefs about reduced harm of e-cigarettes compared with regular cigarettes is perplexing against the background of advertising and media messages touting e-cigarettes as safer alternatives and cessation aids," adds co-investigator Cabral Bigman, PhD, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "One possible explanation is that the increased media attention over the lack of FDA approval and regulation of this emerging tobacco product, injuries arising from e-cigarette-induced fires, and health concerns from toxic chemicals in e-cigarettes in recent years may have conveyed conflicting information about the relative safety of e-cigarette use."

Another important aspect of the new study was to examine if there are possible links between e-cigarette awareness or beliefs they are less harmful and current smokers' quit attempts. After data analysis, investigators found no association between increased awareness or perceptions of lower harms and smokers' attempts to quit. There was also no evidence at the population level that widespread knowledge about e-cigarettes or beliefs they are less harmful is associated with current smokers being more likely to think about quitting.

"The current analyses showed that there were no
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Contact: Angela J. Beck
ajpmmedia@elsevier.com
734-764-8775
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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