Vaping increasing in the EU

| May 26, 2016

More than half of the citizens of the EU think that electronic cigarettes are harmful, a proportion that has nearly doubled in two years, according to a EurekAlert story citing the latest results of a survey published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

At the same time, use of these devices has continued to surge across member states.

The researchers analysed the responses to two Eurobarometer-for-Tobacco surveys carried out in early 2012 and late 2014 in respect of the perceptions and use of electronic cigarettes among a representative sample of adults (15+ years) from 27 of the 28 EU member states [Croatia, which wasn’t included, joined the EU only in the middle of 2013.].

In all, just under 27,000 people in both years answered questions on frequency of use; reasons for use; perception of harms; current tobacco use; and provided information on age, gender, educational attainment and household financial security.

The proportion of people who said they had ever tried an electronic cigarette rose from 7.2 percent in 2012 to 11.6 percent in 2014 across member states, though this figure varied widely by country, ranging from 5.7 percent of respondents in Portugal to 21.3 percent in France, for example.

And in Malta, survey respondents were more than five times as likely in 2014 than they had been in 2012 to have said they had tried an electronic cigarette.

Furthermore, in 2014, around one in seven people who said they had ever tried an electronic cigarette defined themselves as a current user of these devices, indicating that they had shifted from experimentation to use, say the researchers. But once again, this varied by country, ranging from 1.7 percent in Slovenia to 28.9% in Portugal.

Current smokers were 23 times more likely to say that they had ever tried an electronic cigarette while ex-smokers were more than 6.5 times as likely to have done so.

Being in the age range 18-24, living in a town/city, and being more highly educated were also linked to increased odds of ever having tried an electronic cigarette.

But despite the rising overall popularity of e-cigarettes, the proportion of those who felt these devices posed a health risk nearly doubled between 2012 and 2014. In 2012, just over 27 percent believed them to pose a health risk, but, by 2014, this figure had risen to more than 51.5 percent.

The EurekAlert is at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/b-mth052016.php.

Category: Breaking News

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