SHARE

Basing regulations on this unsound theory will have the opposite effect than the one desired, and could be detrimental to public health.
Researcher Jean-François Etter, from the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, aimed to examine whether there is any truth to the gateway theory. The study titled Gateway effects and electronic cigarettes, was published in the journal Addiction.

Etter said that it is difficult to study the gateway effects since many smokers and vapers are dual users, hence smoke and vape simultaneously. Additionally, “it may be difficult to prove that vaping precedes smoking when product use co-occurs and when, in fact, smoking usually precedes vaping.” said the researcher.

“The gateway theory is not compatible with either (1) the decrease in smoking prevalence observed in adolescents in countries where vaping increased or (2) an increase in smoking among teenagers after age restrictions were imposed on e-cigarette purchases.”Jean-Francois Etter

The study pointed out that the fact that current data is showing that smoking is on the decrease, and that smoking is on the rise where vaping restrictions are in place, indicates that the Gateway Theory is unsound. “The gateway theory is not compatible with either (1) the decrease in smoking prevalence observed in adolescents in countries where vaping increased or (2) an increase in smoking among teenagers after age restrictions were imposed on e-cigarette purchases.” Etter added that ultimately nicotine medication and smokeless tobacco are known to not produce any gateway effects.

Basing regulations on an unsound theory

The researcher pointed out that despite the fact that the ‘Gateway Theory’ is weak and lacks evidence, it has been widely used to inform policies. Etter concluded that basing regulations on this unsound theory will have the opposite effect than the one desired, and could be detrimental to public health.

The Gateway theory blasted, 2016 MTF shows sharp decline in youth smokers