Misleading Tweets Stop Smokers Switch To Vaping
Misinformation about vaping on Twitter is stopping smokers making the switch according to a new study.
This worrying trend has been uncovered by a joint team of researchers from University of Bristol in the UK and the University of Pennsylvania in America.
2400 current smokers were used in the study, and each were shown x4 tweets that showed:
- (1) e-cigarettes are just as or more harmful than smoking
- (2) e-cigarettes are completely harmless
- (3) e-cigarette harms are uncertain, and
- (4) a control condition of tweets about physical activity
The researchers say the results have worrying implications for public health.
The study was funded by Cancer Research UK and Dr. Caroline Wright, urged doctors and medical establishments to tackle these misconceptions:
Health information is commonly accessed online, with recent reports showing around 63 percent of UK adults using the internet to look for health-related information, and 75 percent of US adults using the internet as their first source of health information.
People are increasingly encountering free and publicly available health information through social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. However, this ease of accessing information comes at a cost as the spread of misinformation can have negative consequences on people’s health choices and behaviour.
Given this, we would remind smokers that although e-cigarettes are not completely harmless, their short-term health risks are considerably lower than smoking regular cigarettes.
We would encourage smokers accessing information online to check their national health agency for accurate information about e-cigarettes.
For health care providers we recommend being aware that your patients may have been influenced by misinformation on social media, and therefore may have misperceptions about e-cigarettes.
Correct misperceptions, and consider the ways you can support your patients, so they are able to identify accurate health information.
And finally, for policy makers: ensure that all social media searches associated with e-cigarettes are flagged with official health guidance, regulate all forms of misinformation on social media, and improve population awareness and skills to seek out accurate information.
This isn’t the first time Cancer Research UK has been involved with tackling misinformation about vaping.
Back in 2018 I wrote the article: Misconceptions Over The Safety Of Vaping and E-Cigs Is Risking Lives.
It seems nothing has changed, and if anything things have gotten worse.
Free E-cigarettes For the Mentally Ill
A new scheme will see free e-cigarettes for the mentally ill living in parts of the UK.
It’s hoped the £1 million clinical trial will see smokers make the switch to vaping with brand new starter kits and one to one advice.
It’s organized by Yorkshire Cancer Research and will be led by pro-vaping professors Elena Ratschen from York University and Lion Shahab from the University of London.
It was Professor Shahab who conducted the famous cotton wool experiment showing the difference between e-cig vapour and tobacco smoke.
Watch the video and read more about that experiment: Shocking Public Health England Video PROVES Vaping Is Less Harmful Than Smoking.
YCR say that whilst smoking levels are dropping across the UK, people with mental health issues tend to be heavy smokers.
A spokesman said:
In Yorkshire, 15.4% of the population are smokers, but in people with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, the rate is 27.3%.
In people with serious mental illnesses, the rate can reach 42%².
If the clinical trial proves a success, it could be rolled out in mental health trusts across the UK.
Dr Ratschen said:
Until very recently, smoking has remained deeply embedded within the culture of mental health care and treatment settings, where it was commonly accepted as a coping mechanism for patients. We now know that smoking worsens mental illness symptoms and may even be linked to its development.
There is an urgent need to address smoking-related inequalities in mental health. People with mental illness lose up to 20 years of life expectancy, mainly to consequences of smoking and often cancer.
People with mental illness are just as motivated to quit as those without.
However, giving up smoking can be difficult because of limited access to support and high dependence. Contact with health professionals presents a ‘teachable moment’ with opportunities to address smoking.
It’s not clear what starter kits will be offered, or indeed if flavours other than tobacco or menthol will be used.
Professor Shahab said:
There is growing evidence that e-cigarettes can help smokers kick the habit of a lifetime and that these devices may be particularly helpful for smokers with common mental health conditions.
Great to see and lets hope this landmark trial will indeed be a success.
FDA Wipes Out 300,000 More Vape Products
To end a week that saw thousands of vape products refused PMTA’s the FDA effectively banned another 300,000.
The FDA announced it had issued the Marketing Denial Orders [MDOs] to a further 31 companies.
ALL of the products appear to be flavoured, which yet again suggests the PMTA process is a flavour ban by any other name.
One of the companies is the hugely popular NicQuid and one of the most established e-liquid brands in America.
Pre Market Tobacco Applications are needed for any vape product to be sold in the USA.
They are time consuming and extremely expensive with some costing over $450,000 each – way out of the reach of small to medium sized companies.
The FDA is currently facing an almost impossible September 9th 2021 deadline to clear the million of applications.
I expect the next few days to see hundreds of thousands more refused.
Find out more about PMTAS:
- Vaping In America Faces Total Devastation As Anti-Vape Legislation Is Moved Forward.
- Forget Flavour Bans the PMTA Process Is the REAL Threat To US Vapers
Sadly it’s looking more and more like vaping as we know it in America is about to end.
Last week I wrote the piece: FDA Pushes Nicotine Patches the Same Day It ‘Bans’ 800 Flavoured Vapes.
It seems clear now the FDA is destroying the vaping industry in the country and promoting both Big Tobacco and Pharma.
Crazy and criminal and set to condemn millions of vapers and smokers to death.
Canada Flavour Ban Will Cost the Economy
The Canadian Government has been warned banning flavours will mean a huge loss to the country’s economy.
And pro-vaping advocates have been campaigning in a battle bus tour of the country.
The Canadian Vaping Association [CVA] says that for every $1 a vapers spends, it’s worth $2.70 to Government coffers.
CVA says the average vapers spends around $1200 per year on vaping products, not forgetting the amount of salaries and taxes created by the industry.
Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA, said:
Through combining the annual morbidity cost, salaries, and taxes perspective is gained on the amount that is restored to the nation.
Every $1 spent in the vaping industry is worth $2.70 to the Canadian economy.
This amount does not include the services of external professionals including accountants, lawyers, software firms, graphic designers, and so on.
The vaping industry plays an integral role in the currently fragile economy and a flavour ban would jeopardize much more than the individual vendor.
Let’s hope hitting them in the pocket might make these idiotic politicians change their anti-vaping stance…though one doubts it.
Pro Vaping Battle Bus
Meanwhile the Rights4Vapers advocacy group has been out on the road fighting to save Canada’s vape scene.
Maria Papaionnoy Duic said:
We are here to push back, stand up and stand against the flavour ban that Canada has proposed.
Vaping is part of the harm reduction spectrum.
We’ve already made changes in this industry, to bring the nicotine level down, to take the mass appeal off the packaging.
I feel we’ve done enough to to really get the point across that this is for adults only.
As to if Health Canada will back away from a flavour ban, again one doubts it, but we can hope.