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How Can Perceptions of Vaping Be Changed?

When it comes to public perceptions on vaping it can seem like there’s a huge divide between those that vape and those who don’t. As e-cigarette use is set to continue rising, both in the US and globally, improving the perception of vapers could be an important step to the culture becoming more accepted and understood.

With e-cigarettes still being relatively new devices on the market, especially when you consider how long conventional cigarettes have been used, it means that there are still a lot of unknowns. For this reason, a lot of information, research and opinions can often become twisted or misinterpreted. One example of this is a Portland State study, which found that when used on high voltages e-cigarettes released more formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, than tobacco cigarettes. Despite e-cigarettes generally being used on a low voltage, and not producing any formaldehyde as a result, the findings were misreported by many outlets.

All of this misinformation does nothing to help vaping’s public image, there’s plenty of steps the vaping industry and vapers themselves can take to change the current perception of vaping, including these 8 steps we’ve put together:

  1. Respect that not everyone likes vaping – While the effects of second-hand vaping have not been fully researched, you need to

    . Being respectful, such as blowing the vape away from people nearby or stepping outside to vape when in a crowded indoor space can give the perception of vapers and vaping a positive boost.

  2. Conduct thorough research – At the moment there’s plenty of conflicting research on the effects and benefits of vaping. It makes for a confusing message that can harm perceptions. More studies, that thoroughly look at both the pros and cons of vaping can help to support a more positive image by providing accurate information that’s easy to understand.
  3. Showcase successful quitters – One of the biggest positives for the vaping industry when it comes to perception, is its link with helping people give up traditional cigarettes. Showcasing how electronic cigarettes have supported those wanting to cut down on their nicotine consumption is one way to garner public support.
  4. Do away with wild claims – Vapers, the media and others are guilty of making wild claims when it comes to vaping, such as stating that research proves e-cigarettes are harmless. But while you might be trying to improve the perception of vaping with such comments, it can actually have the opposite effect, causing non-vapers to distrust the real facts and figures.
  5. Emoji it – It seems like there’s an emoji for everything you’d text a friend about these days – except for vaping. A vaping emoji would certainly provide a conversation opener about the benefits of e-cigarettes that could help to improve the overall perception of the devices.
  6. Be prepared to explain – Vaping has become immensely popular in recent years but there are still a lot of people that don’t know that much about it, for instance, some believe that all e-liquids contain nicotine. If you vape and get asked a question, giving an honest answer that sticks to the facts can be one way to improve the public’s view a bit at a time.
  7. Show evidence that it’s not encouraging children – One of the arguments against vaping is that it will encourage children to smoke nicotine. However, a recent study found that the majority of young vapers simply vape fruity flavours, with no nicotine content, and even shun the traditional tobacco flavour.
  8. Make the ingredients clear – The food industry has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent years for not making their labelling clear enough, and the industry should take some of this criticism on board, too. The industry could benefit a lot from making the ingredients in all its products clear from the first glance. A lot of the time, when you look over the ingredients list it can be easy to mistake what’s contained in the products or simply assume that they are harmful chemicals. A little more clarity could go a long way to combat common misconceptions.

What’s your opinion on vaping’s image crisis? Do you think there’s anything else the industry and vapers alike can do? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

References

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/opinion/joe-nocera-is-vaping-worse-than-smoking.html?_r=2

https://cdn1.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/94/2015/11/Stat-Harvard-Poll-Oct-2015-Americans-Perspectives-on-E-Cigarettes.pdf

http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/most-teens-vaping-fruity-flavours-not-nicotine-u-s-study-1.3045163

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