The term “gateway” refers to an epidemiological phenomenon, where someone who use one product moves on to use another. If a non-smoker vapes, are they likely to take up smoking later on? At the moment there is no evidence to suggest this is the case.
When it comes to e-cigarettes, the gateway theory would suggest that young non-smokers who try vaping would move on to smoking tobacco. This fear is closely tied to people’s perception of nicotine and its addictive powers, which some scientists consider exaggerated.
This concern is justified primarily by the need to protect young people as part of anti-tobacco campaigns because we know that the earlier people start smoking, the harder it is to quit.
For now, there is no statistical data to show that using e-cigarettes leads to tobacco use.