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UK-based anti-smoking charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), has just released a new study which affirms that there is no evidence to suggest that electronic cigarettes are encouraging young people to take up smoking. This is an important point as it is a claim that those looking to prevent e-cigarette use tout around as truth. Therefore, it being disproved is an important win for the two million or so vapers in the UK and the many thousands more who were on the fence about quitting with the help of e-cigarettes.
Since the release of e-cigs there has been a fear circulating that children would be attracted to the new devices and start using them, with the substance potentially acting as a precursor to full-blown tobacco smoking. The results of the recent ASH survey should, however, help to set the minds of worried individuals at rest.
Over 2,000 people between the ages of 11 – 18 years took part in the new study. The evidence suggests that vaping is mainly associated with existing smoking behaviour. Out of the 1.8% of young people who vape occasionally or regularly, 90% of them had previously been smokers of tobacco cigarettes.
Only 10% of the people surveyed had ever tried e-cigarettes and out of the remaining 90%, most people were aware of them, with 80% of the subjects acknowledging that they knew about vaping.
Of the non-smokers, 98% had never even tried tobacco, and had also never smoked an e-cigarette, and 90% of these people said that they have no intention of ever doing so.
It is natural for people to be curious and questioning of a substance which is fairly new on the market. It is clear, however, that e-cigarettes are not being used by young people as a route into tobacco smoking and Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at ASH, asserts that “the use in young people is very low”.
There seems to be a wealth of inaccurate messages and propaganda floating around in the media, which condemns the new inhaling devices without telling the full story. There is plenty of evidence to show, however, that since the introduction of vaping in the UK, not only has the number of people giving up increased, but the number of people smoking in total has decreased – a positive step indeed towards boosting the health of our nation.