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There's a theory going around that non-smokers who try vaping (electronic cigarettes or electronic cigars) go on to become tobacco smokers. Guess what? There's really no evidence to support that hypothesis, according to studies cited in a Wall Street Journal article.
Research shows that very few nonsmokers vape at all. The vast majority of people using e-cigarettes, e-cigars and e-hookahs are smokers trying to quit or cut down on their tobacco habit.
What about young people experimenting with e-cigarettes and e-cigars? Dr. Ted Wagener at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center reported that only one out of 1,300 college students in a study who started using nicotine vapor products went on to smoking cigarettes. Another study of 26,566 European smokers revealed that just 1% of nonsmokers even tried vapor products (like e-cigarettes or e-cigars).
The government's own statistics show a sharp decline in kids smoking at the same time as the increase in e-cigarette experimentation. That hasn't stopped a Senate committee from opening an investigation into the gateway theory. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been quoted saying kids who try e-cigarettes are “then going on to smoke conventional cigarettes.” But we haven't seen the evidence to back that up.
Discouraging the use of e-cigarettes, e-cigars or other vaping products without evidence of the gateway effect takes attention away from the real health concern – tobacco smoking. If you want to learn more, read the article by Dr. Michael B. Siegel, a professor at Boston University's School of Public Health.