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New BC vaping study: ‘Fears of a gateway effect are unjustified and overblown’

According to a recently released report by the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia (CARBC) at the University of Victoria, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that vaping is a gateway to smoking.  The team of scientific investigators led by Doctors Renée O’Leary and Marjorie MacDonald reviewed some 170 published articles from various public health agencies, scientific communities, and other pertinent sources only to discover the exact opposite to be true.  Tobacco use among teens and young adults is steadily declining as vaping and e-cig technology increases in popularity.

But the study doesn’t stop there.  It also lists several other misconceptions floating around the general public that are contributing to this unsubstantiated fear of vaping.

  • The report entitled Clearing the Air has also determined that electronic cigarettes are far less toxic than conventional tobacco products.
  • The e-liquids burned in e-cigs do not release the harmful tar found in cigarette smoke.
  • The vapor from e-cigs contains only 18 of the 79 known toxins found in conventional cigarettes.
  • And second-hand cigarette smoke laced with these 79 toxins lingers in the air for approximately 20 minutes as compared to the approximate 30-seconds associated with e-cig vapor.


This data is also confirmed by an earlier 2015 survey conducted by the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs and the 2016 report released by the UK’s Royal College of Physicians claiming that vaping is approximately 95% safer and healthier than smoking.  In an interview with the Times Colonist, Dr. MacDonald stated that it is important for medical professionals as well as the average citizen to recognize the consistent bias often found in several forms of e-cig research.

Banning vaping might actually increase teen smoking

MacDonald believes that these types of prejudicial reports are leading to a decisive rift within the medical community itself.  Some physicians promote e-cigs as a healthy way to quit smoking while others falsely instruct their smoking patients that e-cigs are just as toxic and deadly as conventional cigarettes.

"Fears of a gateway effect are unjustified and overblown.  From a public health perspective, it's positive to see youth moving towards a less harmful substitute to tobacco smoking."
“By banning the use of vaping devices by young people, you might actually be driving them to conventional smoking,” MacDonald said. “Let’s make sure that the devices are safe, that they’re regulated, that we have regulation on the liquids that go into them.”

The research compiled in the Clearing the Air report was based on a review of 170 articles deemed relevant by the CARBC team after reviewing a total of  1,622 published articles on vaping and e-cigarettes.  The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and does not offer any conclusions as to the possible reasons, political or otherwise, for the consistently biased and negative reporting so commonly found in vaping research.



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