A smoke-free future: Misinformation as the biggest threat

survey about smoking povaddo

Greek people – smokers and non-smokers- seem to be having a lack of information about the reasons why cigarettes are harmful, as well as about the differences they have from alternative tobacco products.

These are the conclusions driven by the international survey of the independent firm Povaddo*, which was conducted on behalf of Philip Morris International in Greece and 25 more countries.

Specifically, when Greeks were asked to identify the main cause of smoking-related diseases, these are the replies:

  • only 18% of them identified the high level of toxicants generated by the combustion of tobacco.
  • just 33% of the respondents identified tar, which is the residue from smoke after a cigarette is burned.

The percentage of those who gave the correct answer (identifying the toxicants and the tar as primary causes of smoking-related diseases) in the rest 25 countries, stands even smaller, with just 41%.


Insufficient information and uncertainty about the smoke-free alternatives

In Greece, 27% of the general population believes that e-cigarettes are more or equally harmful compared to cigarettes, while 29% argues that the same applies for heated tobacco products.

When asked about the reasons why they haven’t switched to alternative tobacco products, 29% of the smokers mentioned the lack of information and 34% the uncertainty about the science behind these products.


What is needed to convince them?

More than half of the Greek smokers, who took part in the survey (64%), said they would be more likely to switch to a better alternative, if they had been informed about how these products differ from cigarettes, as well as about the science behind them.


Accurate and well-grounded information is the key

«Accurate and scientifically substantiated information to adult smokers, about the causes of harm, could have a significant contribution to the effort of leaving cigarettes behind once and for all», says Ms. Stavroula Ntailaki, Head of Scientific and Medical Affairs at Papastratos.

Furthermore, she emphasizes that «Multi-year research that is currently available about the alternatives to smoking shows that the combustion of tobacco in a cigarette is the main cause of the emission of toxicants, which affect health severely».

According to Ms. Ntailaki, «The replacement of combustion with heating, whether that of a liquid in the case of e-cigarettes, or of the tobacco at heated tobacco products, is what really differentiates the smoking alternatives from cigarettes. That’s what makes them a better alternative for those who don’t wish to quit smoking».


Are you aware of the science behind IQOS?

If you’re thinking about leaving cigarettes behind, the best way to do it, is to completely quit smoking. But if you would otherwise continue smoking, be informed about the hearing of tobacco and learn all of the facts about the science behind IQOS. This will help you to confidently say goodbye to cigarettes for good.

If you have already switched to heated tobacco, remember all of the reasons why IQOS, though not risk-free, is a better alternative compared to cigarettes.

*29.484 adults from 26 countries participated in the survey «Misinformation: A major threat to α smoke-free future».

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