University College London study of 37,000 young people finds no increase in smoking as vape use grows
Irish experts must include vaping as an effective way to quit tobacco.
Respect Vapers welcomes the new study published in the UK which reports that vaping is not a gateway to cigarette smoking for teenagers and young adults. The review by University College London ruled out previous research that suggested young vapers were prone to taking up smoking.
The findings mirror those in Ireland and it was now time for public representatives and clinicians to follow their peers in the UK and use flavoured vaping to help people give up cigarettes.
In contrast to some recent studies in Ireland, this study included data on 37,105 participants aged 16-24 between January 2007 and December 2018.
It found that while vaping rates have increased over time among young people, smoking prevalence has fallen and there was no significant relationship between the two. Now is the time to include vaping as a proven method to quit cigarettes.
The research team reviewed the use of vaping and tobacco products among UK people aged 16 to 24 between 2007 and 2018.
Dr Emma Beard, a behavioural scientist who led the research project said: “These findings suggest the large gateway effects reported in previous studies can be ruled out, particularly among those aged 18 to 24.”
Professor Lion Shahab, senior author and health psychologist said the findings were important, given the contrasting advice from health bodies and governments. “The research supports the argument that vaping is less harmful than tobacco and helps smokers to stop smoking.”
Respect Vapers will send the report to the Oireachtas Health Committee and ask that the findings are considered at the Pre-legislative Scrutiny of the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill.