Researchers Roll Out Fresh Data On E-Cigarettes

Researchers Roll Out Fresh Data On E-Cigarettes

by Antonio Pasolini

Multimedia from this Release

Friday, May 23, 2014 - 4:00pm



E-cigarettes have become a fairly commonplace gadget. Most of us have probably seen a friend or family member puffing on the smokeless stick. ​But ​what do people actually think of them? Do they think ​e-cigarettes​ actually cause any harm? This is what a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set out to find out, and the results have been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier.

The 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 dramatically, from 16.4% in 2009 to 77.1% in 2013. The more aware group included young people, more educated respondents, and current and former smokers, while Hispanics and older survey participants were less likely to be aware of e-cigarettes. The study also looked at the perceived harmfulness of e-cigarettes among current smokers. In this respect, the smokers noted a downward trend. In 2010, 84.7% of smokers surveyed believed e-cigarettes were less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but in 2013 that number dropped to 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,” says co-investigator Cabral Bigman, PhD, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Image credit: Elsevier

Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He edits, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy, and contributes articles on emerging technology to Gizmag. He is also a happy herbivore.