This letter originally appeared in INFORUM on December 27, 2014.
The Forum is correct to editorialize in favor of a ban on selling vapor products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, to minors (Dec. 18). The editorial is dead wrong, however, to assert that flavored vapor products are aimed at children and that vaping has been shown to be a gateway to cigarette smoking. (“Close off e-cig sales to minors”).
Flavors are incredibly important to helping adult smokers break their taste for tobacco. Indeed, a published survey of more than 4,500 adult vapers found that fruit and sweet flavors were overwhelmingly the flavors of choice, and that the 90 percent of respondents who were ex-smokers reported flavors as being “very important” in their quit journey.
The Forum takes quite a leap when it says there is “no question” vaping is a gateway to smoking for teens. No study actually backs up this claim. To the contrary, according to the recently released 2014 Monitoring the Future data, as teen vaping has increased, cigarette usage has experienced the most dramatic decline in the history of the survey.
Let’s keep children from having access to vapor products, but fact-free fear-mongering is unnecessary and harmful to public health.
Conley is the president of the American Vaping Association, a nonprofit that advocates for small- and medium-sized businesses in the vapor product and electronic cigarette market.