FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Growing concern about the safety of e-cigarettes, more American adults now believe vaping is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.
Between 2012 and 2017, the number of people who considered e-cigarettes was less than tobacco cigarettes dropped significantly, according to an analysis of two surveys.
In one, the percentage fell 16 points – from 51 to 35 percent. In the other, the difference was narrower but still significant, dropping from 39 percent to 34 percent over the period.
These changes in attitude, "may be some adult smokers from switching to e-cigarettes," said lead researcher Jidong Huang. He is associate professor of health management and policy at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
The study findings were published online March 29 in JAMA Network Open
Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, said public perception is moving in the right direction.
"The more we learn about e-cigarettes, the more dangerous they look," Glantz said. He noted that research has linked vaping with increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, respiratory disease and, possibly, cancer.
The belief that there are cigarettes is looking less true every day, said Glantz, who wrote an editorial that accompanied the study
"The fact that the public is perceiving that e-cigarettes are more dangerous over time is, in fact, an accurate perception, "he said. "The idea that cigarettes are harmless is fading away, which is a good thing."
About the study period, the percentage of American adults who viewed e-cigarettes as harmful rose, Huang's team found.
Results were similar among participants in the Tobacco Products and Risk Perceptions Surveys. The percentage who considered e-cigarettes as bath as regular cigarettes rose from 12 percent in 2012 to 36 percent in 2017, and those who considered them more harmful rose from 1 percent to 4 percent.