“To put this growth into perspective, use of traditional cigarettes grew only marginally over this period, from 13 percent in 2018 to 13.1 percent in 2020,” said HPA Tobacco Control Division official Lu Meng-ying. “The situation needs urgent attention, especially as new e-cigarette users are almost all young people.”
Asked why they use e-cigarettes, 38.9% of respondents said it was due to curiosity, 17.3% said it was an attempt to quit regular cigarettes and 9.7% said it was because their friends use them. “The UN says that e-cigarettes are ineffective as a means of quitting regular cigarettes, so this motivation is worrying,” added Lu.
In the absence of e-cigs most vapers would have taken up smoking
However public health and tobacco harm reduction experts would argue that such a stance is misguided. A number of studies have now indicated that people who seek out risky and exciting experiences are more likely to use multiple illicit substances regularly, including nicotine via e-cigarettes. This means that in the absence of e-cigarettes these individuals are likely to take up smoking.
One such study of high school seniors in the U.S., found that the participants’ attitude towards vaping also reflected how they viewed other substances. Other studies have indicated that in places where vaping is on the rise, smoking rates are dropping. This confirms that in the majority of cases, vaping is replacing smoking.
Read Further: Taipei Times