It is hard to imagine that one of the biggest arguments against vaping is that it's a gateway to smoking for teens. Studies have proven it's simply not true. This is an unfounded argument we hear time and time again from those who oppose vaping. It's an easy argument to make, especially by people who are not educated about vaping and how it differs from smoking.
Members of the vaping community are happy to listen to objections and concerns as long they offer some sort of proof to connect ecigarettes to teen smokers. Big surprise – they can't – because underage vaping is NOT a gateway to smoking for teens, or anyone else for that matter.
Survey says there's no evidence that underage vaping leads to smoking in teens
A recent survey that was published in the journal Public Health has found no evidence linking ecigarettes as a gateway to smoking. The survey found that:
- 93% of youths are aware that ecigarettes exist
- Most young vapers were current or previous smokers
- Most young people said that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes
- 10% of 11-18 year olds said they have tried vaping "once or twice"
- Only 2.4% of this age group vapes once per month
These findings are consistent with other studies that have been performed about the impact of underage vaping on teens and smokers.
"These results should reassure the public that electronic cigarettes are not linked with any rise in young people smoking," said Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which commissioned the research carried out by YouGov, in the Independent.
"Although more young people are trying electronic cigarettes and many more young people are aware of them, this has not led to widespread, regular use or an increase in smoking," Ms. Cheeseman said.
It's natural that young people are going to want to experiment with new things – and they will. The key is to limit their access to things like ecigs, cigarettes and alcohol until they are legally allowed to purchase these products.
Learn more about ecigarettes and teens by reading:
Underage Vaping: Why Vaping Is Not Necessarily A Gateway To Smoking