Vape Use Up, Cigarette Use Down - Is there a connection?
We all know that there are many misconceptions out there about vaping. One of the biggest is that it is a gateway to smoking, especially for under 18s. The truth is turning out to be the opposite: Smoking rates among teens in the U.S. are currently at a record low.
Since 1975, the U.S. government has sponsored the Monitoring the Future Study, which examines various behaviors among children. This year’s study revealed that rates of children who have smoked a traditional cigarette in the last month are at an all-time low: 4 percent among eighth-graders, 7.2 percent among 10th-graders, and 13.6 percent among 12th-graders. “The numbers are stunning,” said Matthew Myers of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The study found that “more teens use e-cigarettes than traditional, tobacco cigarettes or any other tobacco product.” Michael Siegel, who teaches public health courses at Boston University, believes the rise of vaping among teens is little more than experimentation, and that the important thing is that they are smoking traditional cigarettes less.
Some activists, such as Stanton Glantz, who has been a member of the crusade against smoking for decades, has claimed that vaping is a “gateway” to the use of traditional cigarettes. However, the studies that have been done so far do not support this theory. A recent article in Addiction notes that “no migration from [ecigarettes] to smoking has been documented.” If Glantz’s assertion was right, the use of traditional cigarettes would increase in tandem with the use of ecigarettes.
It is a fact that as the use of vaping among teenagers has risen, the use of traditional cigarettes is seeing a sharp decline. There isn't enough research to prove causation, but in any even we can all agree on one thing - lower cigarette use among teens is a very good thing.