The perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes fell between 2012 and 2014, a sign that fewer people see them as a safe alternative to smoking tobacco, a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.
In 2012, the study found, half of those surveyed thought e-cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes. By 2014, the number had dropped to 43 percent. During this period, advertisers often represented e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, the researchers note. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that convert liquid containing nicotine into vapor that consumers inhale.
The study was based on the Health Information National Trends Surveys conducted by the National Cancer Institute. The nationally representative sample included smokers, former smokers and non-smokers. The study appears online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.