The results of a new study conducted by the UK Centre for Substance Use Research suggest e-cigarettes help Prevent People From Smoking.
Researchers interviewed young people (aged 16-25) from all over England and Scotland and the majority of people questioned said they believed e-cigarettes prevent people from smoking.
Speaking about the misconception that vaping leads to smoking, lead researcher Dr Neil McKeganey said: “There was very little indication amongst the young people interviewed that e-cigarettes were resulting in an increased likelihood of young people smoking.”
The majority of study participants considered tobacco to be “extremely harmful” and stated they considered e-cigarettes to be a much safer alternative.
Quoting the words of one 18-year old participant, McKeganey said, “People are moving off cigarettes and moving onto vaping.”
Another youngster said: “I think vaping will replace smoking.”
The idea that vaping may replace smoking appeared to be prevalent among the study participants and one 19-year old said, “I think it’s usually people who are trying to stop smoking who vape. I mean there is the odd person who does it because it’s cool and that might influence them to want to try smoking, but I think on the whole it’s the other way round. It’s people vaping who have given up smoking.”
Unfortunately, the media is prone to present vaping in a bad light, and many youngsters admitted they had decided not to make the switch from smoking to vaping because they had seen media coverage that e-cigarettes are “just as bad”.
Continuing her argument that e-cigarettes can help prevent people from smoking McKeganey said, “It’s concerning, particularly for the young people who currently smoke, that inaccurate perceptions of e-cigarettes could result in the persistent use of combustible tobacco irrespective of the fact that Public Health England has concluded vaping is 95% less harmful than conventional cigarettes.”
May medical experts agree vaping can prevent people from smoking, but study results are often misrepresented and used to paint vaping in a bad light. This causes a level of uncertainty McKeganey finds concerning.
“What was apparent [by the study] is that this persistent view, expressed by some young people, that vaping was just as harmful as smoking, was resulting in some young people continuing to smoke when they might otherwise have quit . . . There was nothing to suggest that youngsters see vaping as a stepping stone to smoking—quite the opposite.”