The visual similarity between e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products (like cigarettes or cigars, for example) has long contributed to the theory that the rise of vaping will “renormalize” the concept of smoking among today’s kids.
Makes sense, right? Well, according to science, wrong.
Teenagers and young adults who already vape don’t believe that their likelihood of smoking cigarettes is any greater than the average person, according to a new study published in the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.
In the study, researchers interviewed 50 e-cig users betweens the ages of 16 and 26—over half were current smokers, 19 were former smokers, and three have never lit up a cigarette before.
What they found: Many young people believe that it makes no sense to smoke tobacco products, because a less-harmful alternative (ie: e-cigarettes with fewer cancer-causing chemicals) exists. “There was overwhelming consensus amongst our participants that vaping is not making smoking more socially acceptable and that, if anything, it is making cigarettes seem even less acceptable,” said Dr. Neil McKeganey, Director of the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) and lead author on the study.
The new research basically supports the conclusions of other studies that were unable to find a link between vaping and an increased likelihood of tobacco consumption. It didn’t, however, neglect to mention that some e-cig users are concerned about the unknown risks over the long term.