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In UK, e-cigarette does not represent a gateway to smoking among young people in a recent survey.

The fear of a gateway to tobacco is still unjustified according to statistics

In UK, e-cigarette does not represent a gateway to smoking among young people in a recent survey.
In UK, e-cigarette does not represent a gateway to smoking among young people in a recent survey.

It is the same old tune in UK: the electronic cigarette, that the most conservative anti- tobacco groups fear it to become a new form of gateway to the youth, shows again its confined use among smokers. This is the conclusion on which the ASH that monitors the changing smoking behavior in the UK has been insisting for several years now. ASH just published its latest report in the Journal Public Health [1].

Professor Linda Bauld, of Stirling University, an expert on smoking behavior, said to The Independent that the survey confirmed the findings of previous studies that show that young vapers are already smokers.

However a significant proportion of this population seems to misunderstand the toxicological profile of the electronic cigarette compared to smoked tobacco.

Linda Bauld states that “this confusion may have contributed to a rising perception in young people – a view which almost doubled between 2013 and 2014 – that e-cigarettes can cause the same level of harm to the user as tobacco.”

The professor of health policy is concerned by this false perception that it may lead some of those young to continue taking up with deadly products rather than trying less harmfull alternatives.

For his part, Professor Kevin Fenton of the PHE declares that “this survey provides further confirmation that regular use of electronic cigarettes is still low and largely confined to young people who are already smokers. The new law prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to young people under the age of 18 – which is due to take effect on 1 October – will further reduce teenagers’ access to these products and will reinforce the message that they are intended for adult smokers who want to cut down or stop smoking”.

[1] Eastwood, B., Dockrell, M. J., Arnott, D., Britton, J., Cheeseman, H., Jarvis, M. J., & McNeill, A. (2015). Electronic cigarette use in young people in Great Britain 2013–2014. Public health, 129(9), 1150-1156.