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​Gateway Research

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Last month, two studies were published, both looking into the subject of vaping as a gateway to tobacco. One, which came from Scotland, reports a link between smoking and vaping. The other, from Canada, also claimed to have data which supported the link.

It will not surprise anyone that these anti-vaping work pieces are locked away, from easy access. The trio of Kristie Foley, Neil Baskerville Bruce, and Sunday Azagba conducted by one of them, titled Susceptibility to Smoking among e-cigarette users in middle and high schools in Canada.

What we need to know about the team bias is highlighted in the abstracts' first sentence: "There is an increasing worry that the historic falls in tobacco consumption witnessed in previous years may be undermined by the rapid rise in electronic cigarettes use."

There's a concern, buy this with an axe to grind or a pharmaceutical payer to make them happy. There's no "growing" concern, apart from the unfounded fears being chastised by the above mentioned irresponsible scholars. To date, there's absolutely no reliable evidence to support the concept of a gateway impact pulling non-smokers into smoking full-time.

The team flounder justified this fear saying: "This concern is filled partly by the exponential increase noticed in young people's electronic cigarette consumption, and the increasing marketing operations by electronic cigarette producers to gain market share."

They cling to the straws with citations, being so daring as to tie themselves to a laughable study which was conducted by Barrington-Trimmis (one of Glantz Stanton's sock puppets). They boast claim that their results were similar to Barrington-Trimmis, and note: "In the current study, stratified analysis by grade levels also found that the use of electronic cigarettes was linked to susceptibility to smoking for young people (grade 7-9) and older students (10-12), with the results suggesting a stronger link among young students.

The Scotland team produced a study titled: The relationship between testing electronic cigarettes and subsequent experimentation of cigarettes among Scottish adolescents: the cohort study.

The statistical analysis practical focused on bringing children together in groups so if they are likely or not likely to be smokers could be predicted. "Multivariate logistic regression was used in controlling potential confusing factors: age, sex, smoking by friends, susceptibility to Smoking, smoking within the family, family affluence, and ethnicity."

Scottish Results

This study discovered that young nonsmokers who had tried an electronic cigarette had more tendency to try smoking a cigarette the next year than young non-smokers who did not try an electronic cigarette.

At least the second study showed awareness of its enormous limitations:

Causality can't be inferred

Most young people we classify as having started smoking may have taken only one or two cigarette puffs during the period of follow-up, so we don't know whether any of these young people will smoke regularly.

The truth is that scholars can talk about possible links between smoking and vaping, but they cannot explain why the rate of teenage smoking continues to fall in North America and Britain if it exists. The fact is simple, the experiment of teenagers and all those who would otherwise have experimented with cigarettes will also play with vaping - just like some others because it is safer and trending. But as teenage smoking rates keep falling, the worst that can be said of vaping is that it's acting like an intervention, saving young people from the smoking habit, not pulling them into one. 


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