Vaping is more likely to be a gateway out of smoking for young people than the other way around, a recent study concluded.
It also revealed that only a fraction of experimental youth vapers go on to use combustible tobacco.
The research, published in British Medical Journal (BMJ) publication Tobacco Control, also found that teen vapers were less likely to go on to smoke cigarettes than their peers who tried other tobacco products first.
The researchers used data from the US National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) 2014-2017 to compare experimentation with different types of tobacco product.
They found that cigarettes were the most common ‘starter’ products, followed by other combustible products, non-combustibles and e-cigarettes.
Less than 1 percent of teens who started with e-cigarettes went on to become smokers. This figure is smaller than any of the other groups.
Teens were also more likely to vape after trying tobacco than the reverse.
The researchers wrote:
“This suggests that, over the time period considered, e-cigarettes were unlikely to have acted as an important gateway towards cigarette smoking, and may, in fact, have acted as a gateway away from smoking for vulnerable adolescents.”