A new study published in Drugs: Educations Prevention Policy journal has found that youth and teenagers that vape are not likely to start smoking cigarettes. The study results are based on a survey of 50 teen and youth vapers aged 16 to 26. According to the survey of young vapers, their goal was to reduce the harm compared to smoking. Only 3 of the survey participants had never smoked. So once again we see that non-smokers are not taking up vaping in any great numbers.
For those who have expressed concern that vaping might normalize smoking behavior, don’t worry. The youth are telling us that vaping is actually making smoking less acceptable. In fact the overwhelming consensus of the 50 young people between the ages of 16 and 26 was that it makes no sense to smoke cigarettes because there is a less harmful option. They believe that vaping is less harmful and it is keeping these young people away from cigarettes.
While the FDA is not ready to confirm that vaping is less harmful than smoking, even the most ardent anti-vaping crusaders like Dr. Stanton Glantz now admits that e-cigarettes are not as high risk as cigarettes.
So what we see here should comfort those who are concerned that vaping is going to re-normalize smoking. That is not what is happening. It should also reassure critics that the vaping gateway theory is once again in doubt. Hopefully that theory will be dispelled once and for all before long. Finally, only 6 of the young people had never smoked showing us that it is rare for someone who has never smoked to suddenly start vaping. So we are not creating a new generation of nicotine addicted people. Cigarettes are still the main culprit on that score and vaping may be the way to fight back.