Anti-Vaping Advocate Says this Finding Adds to Evidence that E-Cigs are a Gateway to Youth Use of Tobacco Products
A groundbreaking study published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal presents the shocking finding that youth are drawn to products that are new and cool and that this is why they find electronic cigarettes appealing.
The study, which involved a survey asking Ontario youth why they find e-cigarettes appealing, reported the startling finding that a major reason for youth e-cigarette experimentation is that they like "engaging in seemingly exciting new behaviours." The paper's final conclusion was that: "Adolescents in this population appear to be motivated by the appeal of trying something new."
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Matthew Stanbrook argues that this study adds to evidence that e-cigarettes are a "gateway" to youth tobacco product use, stating that the findings "add to mounting evidence associating use of e-cigarettes with tobacco use." He also cited a recent study involving US youth which "found that never-smokers in grades 11–12 who used e-cigarettes had sixfold higher odds of becoming cigarette smokers a year and a half later when they reached the legal age to purchase tobacco."
The Rest of the Story
The international reaction to these remarkable and shocking new findings has been intense. Marketers throughout the world have expressed their surprise at these findings and are already looking to change their tactics to take advantage of this new knowledge.
For example, Apple CEO Tim Cook told The Rest of the Story that: "This is truly a game changer. We had no idea that cool, exciting, new products would appeal to youth. We've been hammering away at young people for years with the same old Apple 1's, thinking that they are totally into old-fashioned, traditional products. Cook said that the findings of the study instantly gave him the idea of launching a series of what he called "i" products, such as multi-functional cell phones, with new versions coming out each year to attract young people to innovative, new, and exciting features.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai was also surprised by the study findings. "No wonder our Betamax video recorders haven't been selling well among the young people. It never occurred to us that to attract youth, you have to come up with something new and exciting. This is going to change the way we do business."
The Rest of the Story also interviewed Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima, who told us that the findings of this study sparked a novel idea: "Instead of just providing kids with the old, kind of boring video games where you catch Pokemon while sitting on your couch, we're going to integrate the Pokemon game with high-tech GPS and state-of-the-art mapping technology. This will create the novelty of young people having to get off their couches and venture into the real world to catch Pokemon in real-life settings. According to this new research, the novelty and excitement of this activity should really catch on quickly." While Kimishima has not officially decided on a name for the product, he told us that he was preliminarily calling it "Pokemon on the Go."
The Rest of the Story also interviewed several tobacco control experts, asking them what aspect of the new study shed light on the gateway hypothesis. One researcher kept us on hold for four hours, while frantically searching the paper in a seemingly hopeless attempt to find anything in the study which was relevant to the question of whether e-cigarettes are a gateway to youth use of tobacco products.
Another researcher told us that he couldn't find anything, but was having the article translated into three other languages to see if perhaps he was missing something.
A third researcher declined our request for comment, explaining that it would take him six hours to download the article on his Apple 1. When asked why he is still using such an antiquated computer, he told us that he "doesn't like new, cool things. That's why I still write my papers with an Olivetti Lettera 32 manual typewriter, watch my favorite programs on a GE 17-inch TV set, and listen to music on my Victrola 3-speed turntable."