New polling conducted by KAConsulting, LLC, led by U.S. presidential advisor and market analytics expert Kellyanne Conway, reveals misinformation from public health institutions around e-cigarettes creates significant confusion for American public.
WASHINGTON – November 30, 2023 – The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) today
released new polling from pollster Kellyanne Conway, which reveals a significant information
gap in public perception versus reality regarding e-cigarettes being an effective tool for adults in
need of smoking cessation and harm reduction alternatives.
The poll is a national online survey of 1,000 registered U.S. voters, including 35% Republicans;
35% Democrats; 16% independents; and 14% unaffiliated. VTA’s polling sought to better
understand the current state of Americans’ knowledge, perceptions, and opinions on e-cigarette
use, including perceptions of where vaping lies among other risky behaviors, like smoking
cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and smoking marijuana.
The poll confirms what many scientists and academics have lamented for years: The American
people are overwhelmingly misinformed by public health institutions, such as the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), on the dramatically lower risks and
significant benefit tradeoffs of vaping nicotine versus smoking cigarettes, which kill nearly half a
million Americans every year.
When provided factual information about e-cigarettes, public perception of vaping skewed from
largely negative towards a demonstrable openness around the potential benefits of e-cigarettes,
particularly for current smokers. Additionally, the poll demonstrates that Americans, despite their
overwhelmingly negative views on e-cigarettes, ranked numerous other behaviors and lifestyle
choices, like drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, as much riskier.
“The poll that VTA conducted with Kellyanne and her team underscores what we have argued for years: that public health officials and lawmakers must follow the science when it comes to vaping and stop misinforming the public about the benefits and relative risks of e-cigarettes and other non-combustible nicotine products, especially as an effective harm reduction tool for those who currently smoke cigarettes,” said Tony Abboud, executive director of VTA. “This watershed polling demonstrates the clear and present danger of this public health misinformation gap that needs to be addressed.”
“This poll demonstrates the effect of information underload combined with unaddressed confusion about an issue – the result is chaos,” said Kellyanne Conway. “Yet, when Americans are provided accurate information about e-cigarette use, their opinion shifts dramatically. This shows the power of politicized science versus actual science.”
Key findings included in the polling’s results:
- An overwhelming majority of Americans (84%) have a negative view of vaping nicotine and 78% wrongly believe that vaping nicotine is as or more dangerous than smoking cigarettes.
- When informed that vaping is more effective than nicotine replacement therapies such a nicotine gums and patches in helping adult smokers quit, 37% of respondents say they are less likely to support a ban.
- When informed of the United Kingdom’s “Swap to Stop” program of handing out free vaping starter kits to help people stop smoking, 40% of Americans say they would be more likely to support such a program in the U.S.
- More than half of Americans (53%) say FDA’s rejection of 99% of e-cigarette applications while approving cigarettes over vaping products at a rate of 45 to 1 is unreasonable policy.
- A majority of Americans (79%) state that banning e-cigarettes would just result in a black market for people to continue buying and selling nicotine vaping products.
- Half of Americans (49%) say it is unreasonable policy for FDA to use youth vaping as a reason to ban flavored e-cigarettes when FDA also says youth vaping is not an epidemic.
- More than half (56%) of Americans believe that FDA is making unfair decisions or playing politics about tobacco and vaping and should return to focusing on protecting public health.
- Only 35% of Americans say FDA should continue on its current path with respect to tobacco and vaping.
- Vaping nicotine is considered the least dangerous activity (7%) to a person’s life when compared to other activities, like using illegal drugs, not wearing a seatbelt in a car, poor nutrition, and drinking alcohol.
The FDA’s CTP sets tobacco and e-cigarette policy in the U.S. The use of selective science to
justify agenda-driven decisions regarding e-cigarettes or any other less harmful non-
combustible product is ultimately dangerous to public health and confusing for millions of
Americans looking to quit smoking. This new data reveals the extent of this confusion and the
fact the majority of Americans think that FDA is heading in the wrong direction with its e-
cigarette and tobacco policy.
“This polling clearly demonstrates that the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products has been successful in creating confusion around vaping in the U.S., and when provided the facts, the majority of Americans believe that FDA’s current trajectory of banning virtually all e-cigarettes is the wrong policy which is driven by political and not scientific rationale,” concluded Mr. Abboud.
“VTA looks forward to working with all regulators to correct the record, get the right information about vaping benefits to American consumers, and help reset the FDA’s skewed agenda on less harmful nicotine products based on science and common-sense solutions.”
For more information and a complete copy of the poll, follow the link below.
The Vapor Technology Association is the U.S. industry trade association whose members are dedicated to sound science-based regulation and selling innovative high-quality vapor products that provide adult smokers with a better alternative to combustible cigarettes. VTA represents the industry-leading manufacturers of vapor devices, e-liquids, and flavorings, as well as the distributors and retailers, including hardworking American mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar retail store owners.