Earlier this fall, the Centers for Disease Control issued a warning about teens and vaping. Their warning sounded the alarm that vaping is a gateway for teenagers to shift to smoking regular cigarettes. While underage tobacco use is indeed a serious concern for all Americans, stating that e-cigs are a gateway to teenage smoking is another weak attempt at trying to discredit the industry.
The CDC warning comes off of a 2009 warning from the FDA that stated:
“E-cigarettes can increase nicotine addiction among young people and may lead kids to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes,which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.”
A new study which surveyed 1,300 college students about tobacco and nicotine use found that 43 students said their first nicotine product was an electronic cigarette. Out of those 43 students surveyed, only one said that they moved on to smoking regular cigarettes. One. To drive that point home, that is only about 3.3 percent of the entire sample, which reveals that students basically rarely use electronic cigarettes before smoking regular cigarettes.
You can put a spin on anything to focus on the negative while ignoring the positives. The electronic cigarette industry is changing people’s lives. While we can’t say that making the switch to vaping has enabled people to quit cigarettes, which yield toxic smoke and are made up of more than 7,000 chemicals, we do continue to receive emails from longtime smokers who have found the ability to walk away from a deadly lifetime habit through vaping.
You see, what the real focus needs to be on is responsibility. Responsibility for electronic cigarette manufacturers to ensure age requirements are met. Responsibility for parents to know what their kids are doing and where their kids are going. Responsibility is the key for our industry to finally get some R.E.S.P.E.C.T!