According to the reports, researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and the University of Pennsylvania in the United States have studied social media misinformation about e-cigarettes, which makes the quitting process more difficult.
Researchers at Bristol investigated Twitter misinformation about people trying to quit smoking who switched from regular cigarettes to e-cigarette.
Surprisingly, in the UK and US, those considering switching to electricity were spooked by messages that e-cigarettes were more harmful than traditional cigarettes.
For the first time, researchers from Bristol University and the University of Pennsylvania have investigated this misinformation with major public health implications.
The study, funded by Cancer Research UK, involved 2,400 participants in the US and UK.
They showed them different types of health information and asked them about their views on e-cigarettes, their willingness to buy, their views compared to regular cigarettes, and their willingness to quit. Next, students look at four tweets and take a test on each.
For example: What was the effect? How likely would they reply, retweet, like, share the tweet? What was their response to the tweet?
The findings suggest that adult smokers in the United States and the United Kingdom are reluctant to consider vaping even after a brief exposure to e-cigarettes because they perceive them to be as harmful as smoking.
The article, by Andy Tan, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “This is the first study of smokers’ exposure to misinformation about the dangers of e-cigarettes.
People search internet as their first source of health information before vaping
“The findings of this study are important because they show that even brief exposure to misinformation on e-cigarettes can hinder efforts to reduce the smoking burden among smokers in the US and UK.”
The study’s lead author, Dr Caroline Wright from Bright Medical School, said: “Health information is generally available online, with the latest report showing that around 63% of adults in the UK use the Internet to find health-related information, compared with only 63% of adults in the US. 75%. Adults use it as their first source of health information.
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