A recent poll of 2,000 smokers in the UK has revealed a growing lack of trust in vaping, which could hinder efforts to make smoking obsolete in the country.
Nearly 38 percent of smokers who lack trust in vaping stated that it could deter them from attempting to quit smoking through vaping in the future.
The independent Kahn Review, commissioned by the government, highlighted the central role of vaping in achieving a smoke-free future in the UK, where over six and a half million smokers still exist.
Moreover, evidence from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) last year reaffirmed that vaping is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
However, 29 percent of respondents reported having only slight trust in vaping as a method to quit smoking, while 13 percent expressed no trust at all.
Of those whose trust is diminishing, 35 percent cited the lack of independent long-term clinical research demonstrating that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Additionally, 31 percent expressed concern about the absence of information regarding the harm profile of different vape products.
Dr. Chenxing Pei, a senior aerosol engineer at inhalation tech company SMOORE, which commissioned the research, emphasized the need for smokers to have all the necessary information to make an informed decision about switching to vaping.
The study also revealed potential ways to regain trust among smokers, with 30 percent stating that public health campaigns promoting evidence-based facts could make a difference. Better education for doctors to provide advice on the effectiveness of vaping as a harm reduction tool was mentioned as another key factor in building trust.
Furthermore, 21 percent of respondents supported the lifting of advertising regulations for vaping companies, as long as they promote evidence from credible sources.
However, confusion persists among 68 percent of smokers regarding which vaping products would be suitable to help them quit. Additionally, 70 percent stated that they “don’t know who to believe” when it comes to vape products.
Three-quarters of smokers expressed the desire for information on the harm profile of vape products to be made available at the point of purchase. Moreover, 87 percent believed it was important to know the exact composition of the substances they inhale when vaping.
Smokers sought clarification on the chemical constituents (60 percent), carbon residues (46 percent), and heavy metal content (44 percent) in their vape products.
Interestingly, of those who both smoke and vape, 74 percent initially turned to vaping to reduce their reliance on cigarettes, with 58 percent claiming to have been successful in doing so.
Dr. Pei from SMOORE, which has established an independent think tank of experts to explore standardized harm reduction ratings and communication for vaping products, stressed the need for collaboration between the vaping industry, government, regulators, and the healthcare profession to bridge the trust gap among adult smokers.
Open and transparent communication was identified as crucial in supporting the government’s goal of achieving a smoke-free country.