Government’s Own Research Shows E-Cigs Not A Gateway To Smoking

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E-cigarettes are a very new piece of technology and one that was introduced into the market only around a decade ago. Since that time, their sales have increased substantially and regularly, particularly in more recent years. As new technologies are often (relatively) untested ones, this has caused some health organizations and government officials to become nervous about the widespread adoption of this technology amongst the general population.

There was a concern that the e-cigarette might be used as a ‘gateway’ for non-smokers to become smokers. Lots of work has been done to curb cigarette use within just the past decade and some fear that widespread adoption of e-cigarettes could renormalize an unhealthy activity.

While the fact that e-cigarettes were definitely not a gateway into cigarette smoking seemed like almost anecdotal knowledge to most e-cigarette users, there is now a study that seems to back up those claims.

Check out – Think You Know Everything About E-Cigarettes?

The Office of National Statistics published a report in late 2014 that seemingly backs up the belief that e-cigarette use does not lead to traditional cigarette smoking. Their findings looked at the rate of e-cigarette use amongst current smokers, ex-smokers, and non-smokers (those who have never smoked) and found that the majority of e-cigarette users have all smoked in the past. Almost none (0.14%) of the people who have never smoked have decided to pick up “vaping.” Overall, this means that only one out of seven hundred people who use e-cigarettes were not smokers to begin with.

E-Cig Statistic

Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey – Office for National Statistics

This report seems to be causing quite a bit of talk. UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall stated “I have always maintained that they are a useful aid for helping smokers quit and could save thousands of lives a year. I am glad that these figures seem to back this up and I think that when the figures for this year emerge they will further confirm this.”

The chief executive of the British Lung Foundation also mentioned that the ONS report finding should help “alleviate” some of the fears amongst those that are critical of e-cigarette’s widespread use.

It seems as though this is good news for supporters of e-cigarettes, but they still may come under fire in the future. Since it is a new technology, there have been no longer term studies on the use of e-cigarettes, which has caused the World Health Organisation to seek tighter regulatory controls on e-cigarette manufacturing and sales. From 2016, it’s expected that the sale of e-cigarettes will be classified as a medicine and will require a license to sell them in the UK.

Source – http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ghs/opinions-and-lifestyle-survey/adult-smoking-habits-in-great-britain–2013/stb-opn-smoking-2013.html#tab-Use-of-e-cigarettes–and-the-relationship-to-smoking

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  • Ali Esmaili
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