The study titled ‘Adolescent Vaping Careers’ will be funded by Cancer Research UK, and aims to take a closer look at vaping trends amongst young people and explore whether the theory stating that vaping may act as a gateway to smoking holds any ground.
“A great deal of controversy surrounds the extent to which e-cigarettes might act as a ‘gateway’ to smoking, and might be exploited by tobacco companies as a new means of recruiting a generation of nicotine dependents. However, equally, e-cigarettes might offer a way for young smokers to switch to a safer source of nicotine or to stop entirely”, said lead researcher Professor Jason Hughes.
Professor Jason Hughes, of the University of Leicester’s College of Social Science, Arts and Humanities, will be assisted by Dr. Michelle O’Reilly, and others. He said that the study will look into some factors that may motivate users to switch from smoking to vaping. Additionally the study will explore how “social learning, media influences, peer networks, and a range of socio-economic factors” result in determining different behaviours, habits and outcomes pertaining to vaping in adolescents.
Striving for suitable harm reduction strategies for adolescents
This study will be welcomed by public health experts, as despite the fact that several studies have already dispelled the gateway theory, the idea that vaping leads to smoking is still reverberating and is even used to inform policy in some cases. The University of Leicester team hopes to provide further data pertaining to the topic, in order to promote adequate harm reduction and tobacco control strategies for the younger generation.
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