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The 27th Indiana Youth Survey, was conducted by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University’s School of Public Health-Bloomington and was partly funded by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

These findings are a clear indication that the infamous “gateway theory”, the belief that vaping may entice adolescents to start smoking, is unsound and based on speculation not scientific data.
The 2017 survey was given out from January to April to students in Grades 6 to 12 across a total of 409 schools throughout Indiana. This resulted in a total of 134,664 participants from both public and private schools, who were asked about drug and tobacco use, their age of first use and perceived risks.

The collected data clearly indicates that e-cigarette use is on a significant decline in the use of e-cigarettes and vapor products in all grades from 6-12, with a slight exception for grade 7. Amongst 12th graders, vaping went down from 21.6% in 2016 to 19.7%, while in grades 8-11, e-cigarette use ranged from 15.8% for 11th graders to 8.6% use by 8th graders. Vaping amongst 7th graders increased slightly from 4.9% in 2016 to 5.0% in 2017.

Smoking rates are also declining

Most importantly the survey indicates that smoking rates are also on the decline. “Monthly prevalence rates declined for all categories in 2017, including cigarettes (9th, 11th, and 12th grades only), smokeless tobacco, cigars (11th and 12th grades only), pipe, and electronic vapor products.” read the survey.

A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last June, supports these findings. Not only does it indicate that smoking rates amongst high school students in the US were cut in half in only five years, between 2011 to 2016, at the time when vaping peaked, but it also suggests that for the first time since the advent of electronic cigarettes, vaping decreased from 16.0% in 2015 to 11.3% in 2016, while smoking in that same period dropped from 9.3% to 8.0%.

“Monthly prevalence rates declined for all categories in 2017, including cigarettes (9th, 11th, and 12th grades only), smokeless tobacco, cigars (11th and 12th grades only), pipe, and electronic vapor products.”The 27th Indiana Youth Survey

Once again, these findings are a clear indication that the infamous “gateway theory”, the belief that vaping may entice adolescents to start smoking, is unsound and based on speculation not scientific data.