WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, reacted to the release of new survey data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)’s Monitoring the Future survey concerning cigarette and vapor product use by youth. The survey found that at the same time that youth smoking reached a new record low, youth use of vapor products grew.
Commenting on the study to U.S. News & World Report, Dr. Wilson Compton, the deputy director of the NIDA, stated his unwillingness to argue that e-cigarettes are acting as gateway products to cigarettes due to a lack of research to back up the claim.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Dr. Michael Siegel, a longtime anti-smoking advocate and Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. In his response to the study, Dr. Siegel notes that there is no evidence of a gateway effect. Instead, Dr. Siegel argues, “[T]hese national data suggest that electronic cigarettes may actually be serving as a deterrent to smoking by diverting kids who might otherwise try smoking over to a non-tobacco nicotine product.”
Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, issued the following statement:
“The most important part of this survey is also likely to be the most underreported — youth smoking has declined to a record low. From 2011 to 2014, past month smoking by high school seniors dropped by 27%, likely the most significant drop in the survey’s history. This drop in youth smoking comes despite several years of hype and conjecture by reckless activists who have been keen to portray vaping as a gateway to traditional cigarettes.
“No use of vapor products by youth is obviously the ideal, but we do not live in a perfect world. Importantly, there remains no evidence that e-cigarettes are acting as gateways to real cigarettes. In fact, this study and others suggest that the availability of vapor products may have stopped many youth from becoming smokers over the last three years.
“More than anything, this survey highlights the need for more research by the NIDA and other parties into youth usage patterns, especially among those who have never smoked. Our understanding of youth e-cigarette use is constrained by the fact that the survey only looked at past 30 day use, which prevents researchers from distinguishing between regular users and experimenters. Additionally, surveys should begin asking regular users of e-cigarettes whether they are using nicotine or nicotine-free devices, as this distinction is critical to forecasting the public health impact of youth choosing vaping over smoking.”
You can learn more about AVA and vaping by visiting the AVA website.
About the American Vaping Association
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for fair and sensible regulation of vapor products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, with the goal of maximizing the number of adult smokers who use these products to quit smoking. The AVA was founded by Gregory Conley, a consumer and industry advocate with a long track record of advocating for vapor products dating back to 2010.
We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor. The AVA is not a trade group and does not speak for any particular businesses, including our industry sponsors.