Young people and e-cigarettes
Sir, – A report (August 18th) on a study published in the Tobacco Control journal looked at experimentation by British young people with e-cigarettes.
The study does not show, as the headline suggests, that “Vaping among young teens may increase likelihood of smoking”.
The key issue is not how many non-smokers try vaping, but how many vape regularly, and how many having tried vaping, go on to smoke tobacco.
Research at Queen Mary University in London found no evidence that a young person trying vaping for the first time goes on to become a regular vaper.
Vaping is not a gateway to smoking, and there is no evidence to suggest that it is. If it were, then smoking rates among both young people and adults in countries where vape products are widely available, including Ireland, would be increasing, not decreasing.
On this study, Prof. Robert West, professor of health psychology at University College London, has said: “The authors of this study correctly warn readers that it cannot show a causal connection between using and e-cigarette and later smoking”.
Members of the Irish Vape Vendors Association do not sell vape products to young people, but as a responsible trade association for the independent industry in Ireland, we do feel that studies on these products should be conducted and reported on accurately and fairly. – Yours, etc,