Myth Busted! Research finds vaping is NOT a gateway to youth smoking

Myth Busted! Research finds vaping is NOT a gateway to youth smoking

One of the biggest arguments made against vaping is that it could serve as a gateway to smoking for young adults. But a new research that has just come out should put these concerns to rest.

Only a few days ago, Tobacco Control journal published a study that found an increase in the use of e-cigarettes in the UK did NOT led to a change in youth attitude to smoking.

The paper by researchers at the University of Cardiff and funded by the National Institute for Health Research is the first of its kind.

It examined nearly a quarter of a million young adults in the UK aged between 13 and 15 using data from 1988 to 2015. Over this time the number of people who had smoked decreased from 60 per cent to 19 per cent.

Dr Graham Moore, one of the researchers, told the Guardian that the “ study demonstrates the success of public health efforts in reducing smoking rates among young people in the last 20 years and provides no evidence that e-cigarettes are reversing this.”

There has been other evidence that support this. Another study from the US, presented by a former anti-tobacco campaigner and Cancer Council Victoria researcher, found rates of youth smoking continued to decline despite the increasing popularity of vaping.

Both studies are especially timely considering the recent ban of online sale of e-cigarettes in South Australia. The Health Minister, Stephen Wade, had reasoned that the youth smoking rates is a concern.

But based on the evidence, this justification for banning e-cigarettes is misleading.

It’s clear that the current zero-tolerance approach to e-cigarettes touted by Australian policymakers is not based in evidence.

More than 60 scientific studies now show smoke-free products are less harmful than traditional cigarettes or can help people quit smoking for good.

It’s time for Australia to legalise vaping and finally catch up with countries like New Zealand, the United States and Canada.