Unsurprisingly there has been yet another study published making a big song and dance about the “gateway” theory, claiming that “teens that use e-cigarettes are three times more likely to smoke” (taken from a headline), or that teens that use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke.
A quick Google news search for e-cigarettes gives you 92 articles, each with a variation of the same headline and all citing the same study, or to be more precise the same press release. Some of the journalists did seek comments from Cancer Research UK, but not it seems Professor Linda Bauld who has already criticised the study here, and Professor Kevin Fenton from Public Health England.
Once again, another study citing “concerns” reaches the media. This time it is all about flavoured vs non-flavoured e-cigarettes, gateways and smoking all based on exposure to adverts. As David Dorn highlights on his blog post:
Sometimes, I struggle to fathom the motives behind certain organisations. I truly do. Here we have a respectable organisation in the American Lung Association saying that e-cigarettes are a “new” tobacco product that have still largely unknown health effects. Then there’s a link to this page, which I wouldn’t click on if I were you; you’ll probably get asked to donate to them like the American Cancer Society (quick tip, don’t).
It doesn’t take much to spark some errant thinking and lengthy discussions. In this instance it was the release of the final quarter statistics of 2015 from the Smoking Toolkit Study which is of course performed by Professor Robert West. This survey is used, along with other evidence, to inform those that need to know how many folks are smoking, whether or not they quit smoking and how they quit.