E-Cigarettes are NOT a Gateway to Smoking Tobacco
The use of e-cigarettes has courted a great deal of controversy as the smoking cessation aids have grown in popularity across Europe and beyond. E-cigarettes - which are now the most popular choice of nicotine replacement product in the UK for those looking to quit smoking - have proved to be far more affordable than cigarettes, without the harmful chemicals, strong odours and health concerns for which cigarettes are known.
However, e-cigarettes haven't been without their opponents, with many calling for a greater level of regulation and changes to the minimum legal age at which these smoking cessation aids can be purchased. Others have filed complaints about pictures of celebrities using e-cigarettes, claiming that these pictures glamorise the product.
All of this controversy has led to some people and organisations claiming that e-cigarettes are not only used by those looking to kick their smoking habits. Some have claimed that the novelty, glamour and ease of purchase of electronic cigarettes have led to non-smokers taking up the habit, with claims that vaping, in turn, leads to the smoking of cigarettes: the complete opposite of what the product was designed for.
Vaping is for Quitters!
Here at Vapouriz, we hear numerous stories of customers who have purchased our products and haven't touched a real cigarette since. Both disposable e-cigarettes and the refillable alternatives are available in a wide range of different nicotine strengths, meaning that smokers can cut down their nicotine intake bit by bit until they manage to kick the habit. With this gradual reduction in nicotine intake, the low cost and the use of e-cigarettes mimicking the action of smoking, it's easy to see why vaping is so popular amongst those looking to quit.
We're pleased now to see the results of a research study (Published of Newscientist.com) that concludes that e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking tobacco; they're used by smokers to cut their nicotine intake, rather than by non-smokers to start smoking.
With the statement that 30 million people throughout Europe now use e-cigarettes, the new research analysis took place to try and understand who these people actually are. The research was led by the Harvard School of Public Health, and was based on the results of a 2012 survey called Eurobarometer 2012: a survey of 26,500 people across 27 European countries, with the findings published in the Journal of Tobacco Studies in mid June, 2014.
The main finding of the analysis of the survey results was quite simple; the use of e-cigarettes does not lead non-smokers to start smoking tobacco.
- In fact, just 1.1% of non-smokers had ever used an e-cigarette, and 4% of former smokers had tried vaping - incredibly small numbers, which suggest that the belief that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking is unjustified. This compares with the 20% of smokers who have tried an e-cigarette on at least one occasion.
So who is actually using e-cigarettes across Europe? The results of the study showed that e-cigarette users are more likely to be those who smoke up to 20 cigarettes every day, those who are aged between 15 and 24, and those who have made at least one attempt to kick their tobacco habit over the last 12 months. According to the analysis of the results, those who had made an attempt to give up smoking over the last 12 months were more than twice as likely to have tried e-cigarettes as those who hadn't made any attempt to quit, suggesting that vaping is being used for the purpose for which it was originally designed.
What Does This Report Mean for Smokers?
So what does this all mean? Well, these new findings are great news for the e-cigarette industry, as they will hopefully reduce some of the criticism that various organisations have of the smoking cessation aid. It shows that those who have tried to quit are the most likely users of e-cigarettes - and we believe that the 15-24 age group is an important one. The earlier smokers can kick the habit, the longer their bodies have to recover from the damage that smoking has done - if e-cigarettes are appealing to the younger end of the smoking population, then hopefully the number of smoking-related illnesses and deaths will start to decline.
The World Health Organisation state that smoking and smoking-related illnesses lead to a death toll of 6 million people per year, with smoking-related illnesses also putting great strain on the NHS and health services around the world. If the popularity of e-cigarettes continues - and we're not seeing any let-up in vaping as a choice of smoking cessation aid - we're hopeful that these numbers can start to fall.
Over the years, people have tried to quit using patches, gums, inhalators and prescription drugs. None of these methods have had the same impact as e-cigarettes have had, and the results of this study are just another step in the right direction.