Study Finds E-Cigs are not a Gateway to Tobacco Cigarettes
A study that has yet to be published, was presented to the American Association for Cancer Research. This study, conducted by Dr. Ted Wagener from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, examines the fear that electronic cigarettes lead young people to cigarette addiction.
College students, with an average age of nineteen, were surveyed on their nicotine and tobacco use. Of the 1300 students, 43 students reported their first nicotine product was an electronic cigarette. Researchers found only one person who started using nicotine through an electronic cigarette who then went on to smoke tobacco cigarettes.
The recent CDC article on teen usage of electronic cigarettes left people fearful that e-cigs could be a gateway for youths to lifelong cigarette addiction.
According to Dr. Wagener, “It didn’t seem as though it really proved to be a gateway to anything.” The vast majority of those who started with e-cigs reported they were not currently using any nicotine or tobacco.
In an online column Jacob Sullum of Forbes magazine agrees, “…the survey data [CDC data] provided no evidence that e-cigarettes are a gateway to the conventional kind.”
I think everyone can agree that electronic cigarettes are not intended for and should not be used by minors. It is an issue that should not be taken lightly. The assumption that e-cigs lead to tobacco cigarettes is a serious one, but it’s just that: an “assumption.” Parents should talk to their kids about smoking and e-cig vendors should sell responsibly. Let’s not allow ideological fear get in the way of the millions of adults who have benefited from electronic cigarettes.