The Times (UK)
(3/5, Mahon) reports Public Health England argued in a report that “false fears” about vaping are discouraging smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. The report states, “The proportion (of smokers) who thought vaping was less harmful than cigarettes declined from 45 per cent in 2014 to 34 per cent in 2019. These misperceptions are particularly common among smokers who do not vape.” The Times’ coverage focuses on the issue’s perception in Ireland, quoting Chris Macey, the head of advocacy at the Irish Heart Foundation, and Fionnuala O’Leary, the head of communications at the Irish Cancer Society.
(3/4, Norcia) reports PHE is countering “the vape panic coming the from the U.S.” and “argues that vaping nicotine is indeed a safer alternative to smoking.” Clive Bates, a former public health official in England, said the report and, by extension, PHE, are “strong on empathy but grounded in rigor.” He added, “If we could get this sort of evidence-based good sense from the World Health Organization or the U.S. agencies and policymakers, it would be a game changer.” He said the update gives “a proper look at what the evidence actually says and not what anti-vaping activists wish it would say.”
The British Medical Journal
(3/4) reports the “deaths from vaping in the US have led over half (56%) of smokers in England to believe that nicotine vaping products are as harmful as smoking (42%) or more so (14%), despite those deaths being caused by substances that are banned in the UK,” according to PHE’s report.