Gateway appears blocked

Gateway appears blocked

February 27, 2019

A US health expert says that despite widespread claims that vaping is a gateway to smoking initiation among young people, the most definitive study to date of this issue has failed to provide any evidence to support that contention.

Providing ‘The Rest of the Story’ on his tobacco analysis blog, Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University of Public Health, said: ‘If anything, it provides evidence suggesting that vaping acts as a kind of diversion that can keep some youth away from cigarette smoking’.

Siegel was commenting on a landmark study, published on January 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. This was the largest, longitudinal study of youth smoking initiation – the PATH (Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health) study – and included two waves of observations on nearly 12,000 young people in the US.

The main reported finding of the study was that ever use of e-cigarettes at baseline was a risk factor for ever use of cigarettes at follow-up, said Siegel. This was consistent with the findings of several other studies.

‘Buried deep within the article is the rather startling, but most critically relevant finding of the entire study: The investigators were unable to report a single youth out of the 12,000 in the sample who was a cigarette naive, regular vaper at baseline who progressed to become a smoker at follow-up,’ he said. ‘Why? Because the number of these youth was so small that it was impossible to accurately quantify this number.’

Siegel said that it was necessary to await the results from future waves of the PATH study to have a clearer idea of the trajectory of youth vaping and smoking.

Category: Breaking News

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