Study: Teens Who Don’t Smoke Rarely Use E-Cigarettes Regularly

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

A recent study proves fears about a teen vaping “epidemic” are far overblown after showing regular use of electronic cigarettes is “rare” among youths who have never smoked.

The research, published April 7 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, reveals vaping prevalence is highest among teens who regularly smoke cigarettes or have smoked a cigarette within the past 30 days. Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Greece and Dr. Riccardo Polosa of the University of Catania in Italy, top experts in global tobacco research, lead the study, which focused on data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey showing varying vape use between never smokers and smokers, Vaping Post reported.

They found teen smokers were 84 times more likely to vape every day than teens who do not use combustible tobacco. (RELATED: Hysteria Over Vaping Goes To New Levels, As Media Calls Juuling The New Youth ‘Epidemic’)

“E-cigarette use is more prevalent among ever and past 30-day smoking adolescents compared with never smoking adolescents,” Farsalinos and Polosa concluded in the study. “Frequent e-cigarette use is rare among never smoking adolescents.”

The research adds to an avalanche of evidence in the U.S. and around the world that proves vaping, while not entirely free of risks, drastically cuts combustible tobacco’s physical harms and significantly improves health outcomes for smokers. Despite the prevailing research, press outlets in the U.S. continue to incite panic among readers over teen use of the devices.

“The media has been whipped up into a full blown moral panic over vaping,” Clive Bates of Counterfactual, a public interest consultancy and advocacy group, previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The truth is they haven’t the faintest idea what is really going on until they know who is vaping and what is happening to smoking. It is quite possible that this is one of the greatest developments in the history of public health, as vaping products are driving down smoking and ending the cult of cool associated with cigarettes.”

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future Survey, released Dec. 14, 2017, shows reported cigarette use among 12th graders fell to 4.2 percent this year — down from 24.6 percent in 1997 — even as the number of youth experimenting with vaping devices increased.

Millions of former adult smokers in the U.S. are embracing the positive science on vaping and using the harm reduction tools to quit combustible cigarettes.

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Steve Birr

Vice Reporter

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