E-cig regulations have been passed in recent years based on the sole premise that these devices promote the use of combustible cigarettes among American youth. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth and this recent study out of the U.K. works to disprove the opinion that vaping is a gateway to tobacco smoking. Continue reading to learn more about why e-cigs should be used as smoking cessation aids, rather than restricting their access to the public.
The study compared the course of use and sales of e-cigs with that of smoking rates and combustible cigarette sales in countries with historically similar smoking trajectories, but differing e-cig regulations (for example, the UK versus Australia). The UK has fairly relaxed rules around vaping, where public health sees e-cigs as smoking cessation aids rather than a gateway to smoking combustible cigarettes. Whereas Australia has banned the sale of nicotine-containing e-cigs altogether.
Interactions between other nicotine alternatives were also examined, for example, oral nicotine patches in Sweden.
What were the results?
Professor Peter Hajek, director of health and lifestyle research unit at Queen Mary University of London said: “The results of this study alleviate the concern that access to e-cigs and other low-risk nicotine products promote smoking. There is no sign of that, and there are some signs that they in fact compete against cigarettes, but more data over a longer period [is] needed to determine the size of this effect.”
Professor Lion Shahan, co-author and co-director of the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, added: “This comprehensive analysis provides reassurance that countries which have adopted a more progressive stance towards e-cigs have not seen a detrimental impact on smoking rates. If anything, the results suggest that—more likely than not—e-cigs have displaced harmful cigarettes in those countries so far.”
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