Knowledge about Chemicals in e-Cigarette Secondhand Vapour and Perceived Harms of Exposure among a National Sample of U.S. Adults

Potentially harmful chemicals are detectable in e-cigarette secondhand vapour (hereafter SHV), contrary to advertising and marketing claims that it contains “only water vapour.” The authors assessed public knowledge about the presence of chemicals in SHV and associations between knowledge and perceived harms of exposure to SHV. An online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,449 U.S. adults (GfK’s KnowledgePanel) was conducted from October to December 2013. Respondents were asked whether e-cigarette vapour contains only water vapour, contains tar, or contains formaldehyde (true/ false/ do not know). Responses to these three items were recoded (1 = incorrect, 2 = do not know, and 3 = correct) and averaged into a knowledge scale. They were also asked if they perceived breathing SHV to be harmful to one’s health (two-item scale) and comparative harm of breathing SHV versus breathing secondhand smoke (SHS). Multiple regression analyses were weighted to the U.S. adult population and adjusted for potential confounders. Most respondents (58-75%) reported not knowing whether SHV contained only water vapour, if SHV contained tar, and if it contained formaldehyde. African-American respondents (vs. white) and current smokers (vs. nonsmokers) had lower levels of knowledge about chemicals in SHV. Adjusting for covariates, correct knowledge about chemicals in SHV was associated with higher perceived harms about SHV for one’s health and perceived comparative harm of SHV versus SHS. The authors concluded that these findings suggest a need to provide accurate information about the presence of chemicals in SHV (e.g., using product ingredient labels or public education).

Authors: Tan AS, Mello S, Sanders-Jackson A, Bigman CA. ;Full Source: Risk Analysis. 2016 Sep 5. doi: 10.1111/risa.12676. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]