Federally Funded Authors Promote Misperceptions of Smoke-Free Tobacco Products
In their recent journal article, “U.S. adult perceptions of the harmfulness of tobacco products” (abstract here), a group of researchers from the FDA, other federal agencies, Canadian and American universities suppress important information about safer tobacco products.
G.T. Fong and 11 co-authors used federal funds to analyze the FDA Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Survey with respect to perceptions of eight non-cigarette tobacco products’ relative harms. While their roughly 5,000-word treatise included three large tables, one figure, two supplemental tables, and 40 references, they included not a word about how these perceptions match up with reality. The only time they used the word “misperception” was to suggest that Americans who view non-cigarette products as less harmful should be educated with “new information”.
The authors found that “40.7% of adults believed that electronic cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes.” In their view, “These results point to the potential value of enhancing knowledge, within the U.S. population, of the harm of tobacco products to prevent tobacco use and to encourage tobacco users to quit, through providing new information about the harms that may not be widely known and/or through countering misperceptions that may exist.”
Readers of this blog know that numerous published studies document that smokeless tobacco use is vastly safer than smoking, and that the British Royal College of Physicians affirms that vaping is at least 95% less hazardous than smoking.
It is appalling that 12 government-funded researchers have published a lengthy screed without acknowledging that smoke-free products are less harmful.
Original author: Brad Rodu
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