New Study Indicates Misguided Vaping Regulations Could Nearly Double Teenage Smoking Rates


The Duke University study took an in-depth look at the impact different proposed FDA regulations could have on teen smoking.

Anyone who’s spent time vaping understands how vilified and misunderstood they are. It seems like every week, another city is voting to ban e-liquid flavors, or in the case of San Francisco, vaping sales altogether.

While these moves may seem like a worthwhile sacrifice, the independent evidence indicates things are much murkier. In fact , a new report out of Duke University concluded that if proposed FDA regulations were passed, it would lead to nearly half of dual using vapers smoking significantly more cigarettes.

While anti-vapers have mostly brushed off these new findings, the vaping community is rallying around this report. They believe it once again proves that it’s Big Tobacco who most directly benefits from these encroaching vaping regulations.

Despite the relevant findings, this report hasn’t received much attention from the mainstream media. So while this particular report is unlikely to have too large an impact, many experts are optimistic about the increasing amount of this type of research.

Latest Research

This latest report was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Lauren Pacek of Duke University. Dr. Pacek and her team wanted to understand what sort of impact different proposed vaping regulations, such as flavor bans, nicotine restrictions, and limitations of device choices, would have on the teenage smoking rates.

The researchers surveyed 240 vapers between the ages of 18-29 and asked them about how they’d most likely react to a given set of vaping regulations. The team was looking for things such as if or how they would alter their vaping habits, as well as if they would revert to smoking cigarettes.

After collecting all their data, the team started to notice some interesting patterns. Perhaps most importantly, they found that 47% of dual using vapers would increase their cigarette intake significantly if strict nicotine limitations or bans were implemented. Similarly, 22% of respondents said they would smoke more if the FDA significantly reduced customization options, such as temperature control and nicotine management.

Even worse, nearly 20% of respondents said they would revert to smoking exclusively if the FDA were to pass nationwide e-liquid flavor bans. The researchers stopped short of saying vaping should remain unregulated, they firmly believed research-based policymaking needs to be paramount.

What The Research Says

While the report itself was relatively small, it lines up with what previous reports have also found. A report out of Yale University concluded that if vaping flavor bans were implemented, it would increase Big Tobacco sales nearly 10% in just a year.

Not only that, but we have reason to believe the teenage vaping epidemic is being massively overblown. A report of over 60,000 teens conducted by Action on Smoking and Health found that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping more than a couple times.

Looking at the harm reduction value of vaping and the evidence only gets stronger. Back in 2015, we got our first massive report from Public Health England, which found vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking.

But we’ve continued to get this type of result often, including a recent study out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute which found the toxicants in vapor are around 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. However, nothing quite proves the harm reduction value of vaping quite like the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences. They concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a smoker from a similar background.


This latest report once again proves the way legislators are going about regulating vaping is all wrong. Not only does it not have the desired effect, but it’s actually creating a situation with more smokers overall.

That’s why it’s so important to spread positive information about vaping to the smokers in our lives. The more people who understand what’s at stake, the harder it will be for misguided politicians to regulate the industry to death.

What do you think about these latest findings? How can we best support and protect the vaping industry moving forward? What’s the most essential part of vaping to you? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.

Dustin has been vaping for almost a decade. He found e-cigarettes in 2008 and quickly became drawn to them as an early adopter. He's been writing reviews ever since and has established himself as a well-versed authority on the subject.

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