Thursday, May 09, 2013

UK Study Fails to Find a Single Nonsmoker - Youth or Adult - Who Regularly Uses Electronic Cigarettes

In a second study that blows out of the water the anti-smoking groups' contention that electronic cigarettes appeal to nonsmokers, especially youth, and will lead to increased smoking, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH-UK) was unable to find a single nonsmoker in Great Britain - either youth or adult - who regularly uses electronic cigarettes.

The study, released this week, involved a survey of 12,171 adults and 2,178 children ages 11-18 in February and March of this year. Despite widespread awareness of electronic cigarettes among youth and adults, the survey failed to find a single adult or youth never smoker who regularly uses electronic cigarettes.

Awareness of electronic cigarettes was 67% among 11-18 year-olds and 83% among the 16-18 year-olds. Nevertheless, "among young people who have never smoked ... 0% report continued e-cigarette use and 0% expect to try an e-cigarette soon."

The study reports that: "Among adults, electronic cigarette current use ... remains at 0% among those who have never smoked."

The Rest of the Story

This study corroborates the evidence I reported yesterday from the U.S. which indicates that despite the dire warnings of anti-smoking groups and the FDA, electronic cigarettes apparently have little appeal to young people who do not already smoke, little appeal to adults who do not already smoke, and virtually no long-term appeal to anyone but smokers.

Electronic cigarettes are marketed towards smokers, not towards youth and/or nonsmokers. These products are intended to help smokers quit or cut down in order to improve their health. They are an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. There is little if any appeal to nonsmokers to use these products.

This evidence minimizes any public health concerns that electronic cigarettes might increase cigarette smoking. On the contrary, electronic cigarettes represent a promising intervention to reduce cigarette use. It is time that the FDA and anti-smoking groups open their eyes to the evidence, pay attention to the hundreds of thousands of vapers out there, and embrace the possibility that electronic cigarettes may be a life-saving harm reduction approach to the smoking problem.

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