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Three in four smokers believe vaping is as harmful as smoking: survey

May 30, 2024

Photo: iStock

The global network We Are Innovation has on Thursday published the results of a poll showing a staggering three-quarters of smokers wrongly believe vaping is just as harmful as smoking.

Recent research conducted by Ipsos revealed that 74 percent of smokers worldwide believe that vaping is at least as harmful as smoking. This alarming “misperception epidemic” perpetuates a cycle of preventable illness and death, as individuals are deterred from switching to safer alternatives, the think tank network said.

Countries that have successfully reduced smoking prevalence have empowered smokers to access alternative products, such as vapes and nicotine pouches, accompanied by accurate information about their relative risks, it noted, highlighting the examples of Sweden and New Zealand.

Sweden has lowered smoking rates to 5.6 percent, just above the threshold at which a country becomes officially “smoke-free.” At the same time, New Zealand, which has more recently adopted smoke-free alternative products, has slashed smoking prevalence to 6.5 percent in just a few years.

Marking World Vape Day (30 May) and calling for a sea change in the way public health agencies talk about vaping, We Are Innovation CEO Federico Fernandez said: “Vaping is one of the public health success stories of the 21st century. Innovation has given us a product that is proven to be 95 percent less harmful than smoking. But misinformation is rife and threatens to undermine our progress. Public health authorities can’t ignore this any longer – smokers must have access to acceptable and affordable vapes to help them switch.”