Public Health Expert on Study Claiming That Vaping Causes Smoking
In line with the infamous “Gateway Theory”, a recent study, published last month in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and based on the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health, claimed that teens who had experimented with an “electronic nicotine delivery system” (ENDS</div><div class=glossaryItemBody>Electronic Nicotine Delivery System.<br />The World Health Organization defines ENDSs as devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporise a solution the user then inhales. Electronic cigarettes are the most common prototype of ENDSs.<br />The main constituents of the solution, in addition to nicotine when nicotine is present, are propylene glycol, with or without glycerol and flavouring agents. ENDS solutions and emissions contain other chemicals, some of them considered to be toxicants.</div>”>ENDS), were three times as likely than those who hadn’t to have smoked a cigarette by the time of the next survey in 2014-15.
The researchers analyzed a sample of about 12,000 12-to-17-year-olds and came to the conclusion that “ever ENDS use predicts future cigarette smoking.” However is this claim accurate? Any scientist would tell you that a correlation does not mean causation.
Teens who are experimenters are likely to try different tobacco products
Discussing the study on his blog, renowned public health professor Michael Siegel</div><div class=glossaryItemBody><span id="result_box" class="" lang="en"><span title="Michael Siegel est un éminent médecin en médecine préventive issu de l’école de santé publique de Berkeley (USA).">Michael Siegel is a prominent physician in preventive medicine from the School of Public Health at Berkeley (USA). </span><span title="Il a suivi une formation en épidémiologie pendant deux ans au Centre de contrôle et de prévention des maladies à Atlanta avant de rejoindre Boston où il pratique actuellement.<br />">He trained in epidemiology for two years for Disease Control and Prevention Center in Atlanta before moving to Boston where he currently practices.<br /></span><span title="Prenant fermement position pour la cigarette électronique, Michael Siegel s’est vu attaqué personnellement et exclure de groupes de réflexion autour de la question du tabac et ce malgré sa très grande notoriété aux Etats unis et en Europe.">Taking a firm stand for electronic cigarette, Michael Siegel has been personally attacked and excluded from focus groups around the tobacco issue, despite his high reputation in the United States and Europe. </span><span title="Ses positons sont sans appel : la cigarette électronique réussit au moins aussi bien que d’autres traitements de substitution.">His positrons are clear: the electronic cigarette is at least as efficient as any other alternative treatments. </span><span title="Il dénonce l’influence aux Etats Unis d’une part des fabricants de cigarettes classiques (qui fournissent des aides considérables pour venir en aide aux familles les plus défavorisées et ce en termes de sécurité sociale) et de ceux qu’il appelle Big Pharma,">He denounces the influence of the US classic cigarette manufacturers (which provide considerable assistance to help the most disadvantaged families and in terms of social security) and those he calls Big Pharma; some </span><span title="influence qui nuiront au développement de l’industrie de la cigarette électronique.">influences that affect the development of the electronic cigarette industry.</span></span></div>”>Michael Siegel noted, “This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that youth who try e-cigarettes and do not particularly enjoy them such that they become regular users are the ones who are more likely to try smoking, but that youth who actually become vapers are not any more likely to subsequently try a real cigarette.”
Siegel calculated that of the participants, only 21 never-smoking teenagers who reported any past-month vaping in the first survey had tried cigarettes by the second survey, and the study did not even clarify whether these were regular vapers or whether any of them had became regular smokers. “It is possible that vaping was not a gateway to smoking for any of these 21 youth,” he said.
Vaping is more likely to act as a diversion from smoking, than other way round
The public health expert concluded that the only thing that this study actually proved, is that vaping may act as a diversion from cigarettes, for youth who are inclined to experiment and try smoking. “Despite the widespread claims that vaping is a gateway to smoking initiation among youth, the most definitive study to date of this issue fails to provide any evidence to support that contention,” he said, adding that on the contrary, “it provides evidence suggesting that vaping acts as a kind of diversion that can keep some youth away from cigarette smoking.”
Read Further: Reason
From: Vaping Post