Study Looks Into The Effect of Conflicting Health Guidance on Vape Perceptions

A registered online study aimed to determine how the conflicting information about vaping presented in the media, online and from public health bodies, affects tobacco users. 

Titled, “The effect of conflicting public health guidance on smokers’ and vapers’ e-cigarette harm perceptions,” the study “randomised 334 daily smokers who do not vape and 368 daily vapers in groups receiving the following types of information about vaping: “1) a consistent harm reduction statement from two different public health bodies (Harm Reduction); 2) a consistent negative statement about e-cigarette harms from two different public health bodies (Negative); 3) a harm reduction statement from one public health body and a negative statement from another (Conflict); 4) a statement of the risks of smoking followed by a harm reduction statement from one public health body and a negative statement from another (Smoking Risk + Conflict).”

Participants then answered questions with regards to their perceptions about the dangers of vaping. The compiled answers indicated that when compared to the group receiving accurate harm reduction information, conflicting information increased the perception of harm amongst vapers, and smokers who do not vape.

Misinformation stops vapes from being used for smoking cessation
Another recent study published in Addiction looked into patients’ and clinicians’ experiences of being offered/offering an e-cigarette as a smoking cessation tool. The research team for the study titled, “The old and familiar meets the new and unknown: Patient and clinician perceptions on e-cigarettes for smoking reduction in UK general practice, a qualitative interview study,” interviewed 21 patients and 11 clinicians, purposively sampling from a randomised controlled trial (RCT).

As part of the RCT, patients who were unwilling to quit smoking were offered free vaping products by primary care clinicians. The research team then interviewed both the clinicians and patients in order to gauge how tobacco harm reduction can be incorporated in their routine practice.

The study concluded that a number of factors are stopping e-cigarettes from being considered as smoking cessation tools. “A qualitative analysis found barriers obstructing clinicians and patients from easily accepting e-cigarettes for harm reduction, rather than as aids to support smoking cessation: clinicians had difficulty reconciling harm reduction with their existing ethical models of practice, even following targeted training, and patients saw e-cigarettes as quitting aids.”