New Study Finds That Many Americans Believe E-Cigarettes Are Just As Harmful As Regular Cigarettes

An increased number of Americans believe that e-cigarettes are just as harmful if not more harmful than regular cigarettes.

A display shows Juul pods for sale.
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An increased number of Americans believe that e-cigarettes are just as harmful if not more harmful than regular cigarettes.

These days it is a regular occurrence to notice people vaping in public. It happens in parking lots, public transit, and even in school bathrooms. Because e-cigarettes release less odor and thus make it easier to subtly use them, they have become popular with teens. E-cigarette manufacturers such as Juul have been booming due to claims that their products can help smokers give up the habit for good. While e-cigarettes may have previously been considered a less dangerous alternative to the real thing, new studies show that Americans’ perspectives on these products are beginning to change, according to CNN.

It’s no secret that regular cigarettes pose a huge danger to health and well-being. They can lead to lung disease, cancer, and make asthma symptoms worse. Juul cartridges, otherwise known as pods, come in a variety of flavors including mint, mango, and fruit medley. There is also a tobacco flavor for those who miss the taste of the real thing. One pod contains the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes as well as propylene glycol, glycerin, and flavorings. They don’t contain harmful substances such as tar which is found in traditional cigarettes. Nevertheless, experts are warning against these products as they may cause underage buyers to get hooked on nicotine. Not to mention, these products are still so new that we don’t really know much about their long-term side effects or health consequences.

Researchers recently looked into data collected by Georgia State University’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science as well as the Health Information National Trends Survey. After combining the results of both of these sources, researchers found that the number of Americans that believe e-cigarettes are truly less harmful than the traditional kind has decreased from 45 percent in 2012 to 35 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, 10 percent of those surveyed believe these products are even more harmful than real cigarettes. This is a substantial difference showing that many people are now questioning if these devices are really less dangerous.

Stanton A. Glantz, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, stated that any benefits yielded from electronic cigarettes have been overpowered by the consequences they pose to youth.

“The risks of e-cigarette use are in addition to any risks from combustible cigarettes. In terms of overall public health effects, this explosion of youth use swamps any potential harm reduction that may accompany adults switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes.”