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Contrary To Scare Talk, Youth E-Cigarette Use Is Rare

By Tyler McCanus

Monday November 10, 2014
youth e-cigarette use and youth smoking

Contrary to a lot of the scare talk we’ve heard, children aren’t reaching for disposable e cigs nor do they prefer e cig tanks or vape kits for a burst of liquid nicotine. Despite bold print headlines and scary talk from people in lab coats paid to render opinions on your TV screen, stats show that there is a massive disconnect between what we are being told and what the reality actually is.

Overall, they simply aren’t trying e-cigs as much as we are led to believe and they certainly aren’t becoming fans of certain ecigarette brands in the way that smokers do. The small percentage of young people that are using e-cigs are predominantly smokers already, which bites into the theory that e-cigs are enticing a new generation of smokers.

The fear mongers have built up this idea that kids can just step into a local convenience store and pick up disposable ecigs.

Maybe they aren’t going into a vape shop and buying refillable e-cigs or vape tanks or liquid nicotine, but the more accessible e-cigs are fair game for the critics.

Besides the fact that more ecigarette brands are joining the We Card program and verifying the age of their customers, alarmists continue to assert that kids are still buying and using e-cigs at frightening rates. Furthermore, despite a lack of evidence, they reason that this new generation is being turned on to electronic cigarettes because of their ‘cool factor’ and the large amount of marketing materials out there.

While we continue to believe that companies need to take firm measures to ensure their products aren’t being sold to kids, we just do not see this as a huge issue right now. In fact there is real data to support the argument that e-cigs are helping reduce teen smoking rates.

Youth Electronic Cigarette Use And Teen Smoking Rates

ecig facts about teen smoking and youth e-cig useThe numbers from the UK-based ASH, short for Action on Smoking and Health, back up this widespread and widely publicized misperception that is being used to smear the e-cigarette industry. The Action on Smoking and Health youth e-cigarette use survey covered youth between the ages of 11 and 18 in two different polls that spanned 2011 through this year.

They find that only 1.8% of them were regular users and that a whopping 91% of them had not even tried an electronic cigarette once. That is an overwhelming majority that has not even attempted to take a single puff on that “cool” electronic cigarette that “everyone” around them has made popular.

The deeper details are even more intriguing and prove that the fear talk going on is misplaced.

Even that 1.8% of regular users is scary to us and anyone who either has kids or is around them enough to worry about their safety. But no matter how much progress has been made in reducing teen smoking rates, it still remains.

The ASH survey confirmed what we always assumed, that the youth who are trying e-cigs are already smokers themselves. An incredible 98% of children who have never smoked a traditional cigarette have also never tried an electronic one. That means that of the 1.8% who are regular e-cig users, at most .3% weren’t smokers to begin with.

To put it in perspective, that’s only 1 in 3,000, a small number indeed. Kids are not going out and buying vape kits and getting into vaping. Kids who smoke are trying e-cigs, many because they want to reduce harm. About 1 in every 3,000 is trying an e-cig out of the blue. As far as our youth are concerned, vaping is not cool.

Stats Show That Youth Are Not Attracted To Vaping Liquid Nicotine

The idea that kids are taking up vaping much to the pleasure of ecigarette brands is seemingly just a way to tar and feather a burgeoning industry. This happens to be one that also helps millions of smokers make the switch to electronic cigarettes, making a chance that many sought for years. By associating e-cigarettes with kids, e-cig opponents sound alarm bells for regular Americans who are rightfully concerned about the welfare of the young generation.

This appears to be simply a ploy in which they can apply pressure to the government to crack down on e-cigs. It has worked in some ways like vaping bans, but not in others like the attempts to outlaw flavors in liquid nicotine cartridges. Numbers do not justify the alarmism we are seeing in the headlines, kids are not eagerly lining up to vape liquid nicotine to be cool.

Using kids as a way to try and outlaw flavors inhibits the many people who swear by their most awesome sub ohm e cig tanks or disposable e cigs. This is going to be part of the battle in which normal consumers like us are going to have to be aware of and ready to make our voices heard.

Perhaps the experts should be talking about the fact that Big Tobacco has actually been increasing the dangerous additives found in tobacco making cigarettes more deadly than ever. Maybe they should be talking about the fact the the Cancer Society and Heart Association have softened their stance on ecigs because they know it is a less harmful alternative to smoking.

Perhaps they should be talking about the millions of human beings that have found an answer to smoking thanks to the best electronic cigarettes. No, those voices don’t attract attention, certainly not as much attention as a good scare sprinkled with some fresh doom.

When misconstrued opinions are being passed off for facts, our society suffers as a whole and freedoms can be impinged upon. More surveys like this one by ASH will go a long way in shedding light on these false theories and we hope to see similar ones conducted so as to further confirm what we already know. E-cigarettes are an adult item and they help millions, what they don’t do is entice a new generation of smokers. More information is certainly needed, but we’ll sleep sounder knowing that things aren’t as scary as some people would like to have us believe.





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