WASHINGTON — E-cigarette firms have been making an attempt for years to rebrand as a public well being answer to smoking. Most Individuals aren’t shopping for it, a brand new survey from tobacco management advocates suggests.
Some 59% of Individuals stated they don’t imagine the business is working to “be a part of the answer to cut back the well being results of smoking,” in a survey of 1,200 individuals carried out by the Reality Initiative and shared solely with STAT.
Juul, Vuse, Njoy, and different e-cigarette makers have lengthy insisted that, regardless of issues concerning the influence their merchandise have had on youth charges of tobacco use, they continue to be an essential software for serving to adults give up smoking.
It’s nonetheless not clear if that’s true. The Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Drugs stated in 2018 that absolutely switching from flamable cigarettes to e-cigarettes minimizes publicity to dangerous chemical compounds, however additionally they discovered “restricted proof” of the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aide.
Peer-reviewed research that counsel e-cigarettes are a helpful cessation software have begun to emerge, and main tobacco firms say they’re conducting quite a few research to check whether or not their merchandise can be utilized to give up. Vaping firms are planning to submit these research to the Meals and Drug Administration by Might, the date by which they need to request formal approval from regulators to remain available on the market.
The business has additionally launched aggressive public relations campaigns to rebrand themselves as an answer to excessive charges of smoking. Firm CEOs have been penning op-eds touting the well being advantages of their merchandise and publicly pleading with lawmakers to not overregulate the business. Philip Morris, the maker of the vapor product IQOS, even launched an “unsmoke” media marketing campaign earlier this yr that included a track written by Wyclef Jean.
The brand new survey, nonetheless, suggests the efforts won’t be working.
Past those that don’t imagine the business’s argument, 77% stated they’d an “unfavorable” view of the e-cigarette business, versus 12% that had a positive view. That’s simply four factors higher than the respondents’ view of tobacco firms writ giant.
Fifty-five p.c of respondents additionally imagine that laws on e-cigarette makers are too weak.
One distinguished vaping advocate wasn’t altogether shocked by the outcomes.
“Since its begin, the vaping business and its grownup customers have been topic to smear campaigns from activist teams and bureaucrats that worth prohibition greater than serving to grownup people who smoke give up,” stated Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Affiliation, a pro-vaping advocacy group. “With polling displaying that almost all of Individuals nonetheless inaccurately imagine that nicotine vaping merchandise have been answerable for current illicit THC-linked diseases and deaths, it isn’t shocking that related numbers have damaging opinions of the business.”
Conley added that he hopes because the FDA begins reviewing vaping firms’ functions that the “public opinion will catch as much as the science.”