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Why it's so hard to talk about e-cigarette risks

A growing proportion of American adults consider just as more dangerous than cigarettes, according to a study out today. The public health researchers are actually working on what they are doing.

Part of the challenge is that the risk-benefit calculation for e-cigarettes depends on who's using them. For adult smokers, completely switching to e-cigarettes may actually be less dangerous than smoking combustible cigarettes. But that's not all they've got, but there's no such thing as their long-term harms. which sometimes, but rarely, explode. As for non-smoking adults and minors under the age of 1

8, they certainly should not be vaping because of the potential risks to heart and lung problems, as well as nicotine addiction that may eventually lead to cigarette smoking.

It's a complicated public health message to digest – and today's study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open suggests that some of it is getting lost in translation. It is understandable that the science is still evolving, according to Gideon St Helen, a tobacco researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study. "It's not like the tobacco control community is in an opinion on electronic cigarettes," he says.

Jidong Huang, an associate professor of health Georgia State University, wanted to know what that means for the public's perception of vapes. "We do not know what Americans think about e-cigarettes," he says. "Do they believe e-cigarettes are safe, or do they believe that e-cigarettes are more harmful?" State University, and the other carried out by the National Cancer Institute. Starting in 2012, both surveys thousands of adults and how much they thought were e-cigarettes were compared to regular cigarettes.

The team found that by 2017, more adults developed feelings about e-cigarettes. And in both surveys, the proportion of people who thought of e-cigarettes were less compared to regular cigarettes between 2012 and 2017, with the biggest drop between 2012 and 2015. At the same time, the percentage of people who thought e-cigarettes were just as bad as cigarettes climbed. And while few adults thought e-cigarettes were more more than cigarettes in 2017 – 4.3 percent in one study and 9.9 percent in the other – that's still a big increase from the 1.3 percent and 2.8 percent who thought that in 2012.

What these results mean, according to Huang, is that there is an imperfect understanding of the risks of e-cigarettes (which, according to the CDC, "are extremely dangerous, killing half of all people who smoke long-term. ")" What we were trying to say is actually very difficult to accurately communicate to the public, "he says.

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