Just 35% of UK consumers believe e-cigarettes safer than normal cigarettes, while 44% unsure and 21% disagree, according to Canadean survey

, March 5, 2014 (press release) – UK consumers are unsure about the safety of e-cigarettes and would like to see more restrictions on advertising and selling. According to a new survey from Canadean Consumer, many believe e-cigarettes contain toxins and harmful ingredients leading to nicotine addiction.

Although e-cigarettes are labelled as “safer” alternative to traditional tobacco products, and as an easy way to quit smoking, a survey by Canadean Consumer finds that Brits are unconvinced about these safety claims. Only 35% believe e-cigarettes are safer than the normal ones, with the rest either unsure (44%) or disagree (21%). While those who smoke e-cigarettes perceive them to be safer (90%), the majority of smokers of normal cigarettes, don’t (54%).

Many still think that e-cigarettes contain toxins and harmful ingredients (56%) and believe these can lead to nicotine addiction (42%).

Currently, 4% of the population and 14% of all UK smokers use an e-cigarette. The survey indicate that the market is likely to grow as 10% of smokers are are considering using one in the near future as a means to give up smoking.

The survey also detects a general concern about the way these products are marketed and distributed.

A total of 40% of all adults believe that e-cigarettes glamorise smoking, while 44% believe they could encourage younger people to take up smoking. Some believe that the flavours (38%) and the marketing (35%) of e-cigarettes deliberately appeal to younger people, and 28% want e-cigarettes banned from supermarkets and newsagents.

According to Michael Hughes, Research Manager at Canadean Consumer, “given the infancy of the e-cigarette market, and the fact that there is little research establishing whether such products are safer than normal tobacco products, it would appear that the majority of UK adults are not convinced by their current positioning. While those who use the products deem them safe, it would appear that others are not convinced and are worried about any potentially harmful health benefits and the possible appeal to younger people.”

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