E-Cigarettes Are Not a Gateway
Vaping isn’t necessarily a gateway to smoking because vaping does not necessarily imply the use of nicotine. In fact, many of the juices sold for e-cigarettes can be bought containing no nicotine or minimal nicotine.
Many studies show that vaping is not a gateway to smoking. For example, JAMA Pediatrics conducted a study in 2015 on the likelihood of youth and young adults to begin smoking cigarettes after they tried vaping with e-cigarettes. The study followed 694 young adults ages 12-26 for a full year. Sixteen of them had tried vaping and none of them had tried regular cigarettes. After a year, 10% of the young adults who had never tried an e-cigarette had tried a regular cigarette. This means that about 68 young adults, who had never smoked before, chose to try cigarettes. On the other hand, only 6 out of the 16 young adults who had tried e-cigarettes in the past had tried a regular cigarette. This may add up to 38%, but 16 young adults is not enough data to conclude that young adults who vape are more likely to take up smoking cigarettes. Therefore, this data has been discounted
Because studies have not been conclusive, it is difficult to know if vaping actually causes people to smoke more cigarettes. In fact, here are several reasons that vaping probably will not lead to cigarette smoking:
- Many young adults using e-cigarettes are not using nicotine
Many young adults using the e-cigarettes are buying flavored juice which is often nicotine free. In fact, in the journal Tobacco Control, one study found that 2 out of 3 teenagers who tried vaping, only used the flavor e-liquid. Nicotine came in a distant second, but the other options were marijuana and “don’t know.”
- The gateway drug theory is a myth
In the 1950s, the gateway drug theory was developed to see if there was a connection with people smoking marijuana and the heroin epidemic of that time. There was not found to be a connection between people who had tried marijuana and those who did heroin and yet the theory persisted. Now many are attempting to do the same by connecting e-cigarette use to regular cigarettes. Research is ongoing, but so far there has been no conclusive or significant evidence of the two being connected to each other.
- You get more for your money with vaping juice
About 10 ml of e-liquid is equal to five packs of cigarettes. Depending on the state you live in, cigarettes can cost as little as 3 dollars a pack and much as 12. However, the average range is between 6 to 8 dollars. The average bottle of e-cig juice is much cheaper. A 10-ml bottle, on average, costs 7 dollars. A pack of cigarettes is therefore equivalent to $1.40 in e-cigarette vapor. It is probably much less likely that young adults will smoke cigarettes, when the cost of e-cigarette liquid is so much less per pack.