An article on the Oakland Express, said that last week nine stores were visited by teenage decoys. So far only one store had a salesperson who did not ask for an ID, and was issued with a citation.

“As responsible members of the Waterford community, these establishments have a duty to ensure they are only selling these products to people old enough to legally make such purchases,” rightly pointed out Waterford’s Chief of Police Scott Underwood.

Still referring to the erroneous ‘Gateway Theory’

If e-cigarette use was indeed on the rise, and if it truly acted as a gateway to smoking, we would be witnessing a steep incline in vaping and smoking rates, but scientific data is in fact indicating the opposite.
However, he also went on to say that candy flavoured e-liquids are enticing youngsters to vape, and was quoted as erroneously stating, that research has found that young people who use e-cigarettes will eventually take up traditional smoking.

It is tragic that despite all the scientific data available today, misinformation like this is still circulating. Although undoubtedly all public health and anti-smoking experts believe that youngsters should not have access to e-cigarettes unless for smoking cessation purposes, Underwood is wrong in stating that vaping leads to smoking. In fact studies keep indicating the contrary, and current figures seem to confirm this as both US smoking and vaping rates are on the decline.

US smoking and vaping rates are on the decline

A report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June 2017, clearly indicated that smoking rates amongst high school students were cut in half in only five years, between 2011 to 2016. During this same period vaping amongst the same age group had peaked from 1.5% to 16.0% in 2015.

However, fast forward a year and from 16.0% in 2015, vaping rates dropped to 11.3% in 2016, while smoking in that same period also dropped from 9.3% to 8.0%. If e-cigarette use was indeed on the rise, and if this truly acted as a gateway to smoking, the above figures would obviously be inverted and we would be seeing a steep incline in both vaping and smoking.

‘Gateway theory’ detrimental to public health


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In-house journalist covering international vaping news.