London: E-cigarettes are playing an important role in reducing the likelihood of young people smoking, in many cases acting as a “roadblock” to combustible tobacco, a new study has found.
A new study from British Centre for Substance Use Research, presented at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw, Poland, showed that majority of participants viewed e-cigarettes as having reduced — not increased — the possibility of both themselves and other people smoking.
“There was very little indication amongst the young people interviewed that e-cigarettes were resulting in an increased likelihood of young people smoking,” said Neil McKeganey, who led the research.
“In fact, the majority (people aged between 16 and 25 in Scotland and England), including those who were vaping, perceived smoking in very negative terms and saw vaping as being entirely different to smoking,” McKeganey added.
Many participants said they thought “vaping will make smoking decline”.
Asked whether the opposite might happen, that e-cigarettes might actually lead to smoking, a 19-year-old participant said: “I think it’s usually people who are trying to stop smoking who vape. I mean there is the odd person who does it because it’s cool and that might influence them to want to try smoking, but I think on the whole it’s the other way round.”
The study also found that people were confused about e-cigarettes and whether or not they are similarly harmful.
Some mentioned they had seen media coverage reporting that e-cigarettes “are just as bad” as smoking and, as a result, they were uncertain and reluctant about using the devices, the report pointed out.