Studies: Raising Vaping Age Limit Causes More Harm Than Good

teen smoking rates climb 3

Two studies, done by researchers at leading Ivy League universities, have released results showing that raising the vaping legal age has had a negative effect on teenagers.

The findings, which were reported on by the Winston-Salem Journal late last week, show that increasing the legal age limit for purchasing vape kits and e-juices has had an effect on the amount of teenagers that have begun smoking traditional cigarettes. The significant increase in this demographic has effectively dispelled the strongly-held belief that vaping is a gateway drug to smoking conventional cigarettes.

A study done by Yale University researchers released their results last October. It showed that in states that have banned the use of vaping products by people under the age of 18 have seen an increase in the number of teenagers who have turned to traditional cigarettes.

This study has flown in the face of the prevailing message by anti-tobacco advocates that have long claimed vaping serves as a gateway to cigarettes. Now it seems that the opposite is true — banning vaping products from teens have only caused them in greater numbers to reach for cigarettes, which are statistically more dangerous than vaping.

This month, researchers working in tandem with Weill Cornell Medicine cautioned lawmakers about the dangers of moving too fast on moving the legal age to purchase vape products up to coincide with tobacco products.

Dr. Michael Pesko, an assistant professor of health-care policy, said: “We should regulate tobacco products proportionate to their risks, and e-cigarette evidence suggests they’re less risky products.”

Both studies reviewed data from 2007—2013 about vaping, the legal age restrictions, and the relationship to teenagers smoking cigarettes. These time periods were chosen because a significant amount of states had vaping age restrictions.

The Weill Cornell researchers found that an astounding 11.7 percent of teenagers began to smoke traditional cigarettes after the vaping age limits went into effect. The researchers also found that in states where teenagers could legally purchase vaping devices, teens were more likely to quit smoking than teen smokers who lived in states where access to vaping products was illegal at their age.

Yale researchers stated that reviewing the data from 2009—2013 showed how the state bans on selling vape products to minors had a negative impact on teenagers aged 12—17 years old.

These independent studies were shown to have a bold 0.9 percentage point increase in smoking within the teenage demographic. This increase counteracted the effect vaping products had on teenagers who were quitting their smoking habit.

But is there a middle ground to be had? It is possible. FDA regulators, scientists, researchers, and others are looking into lowering the age limit to buying vape products to the age of 16 when smoking habits begin to form.

While more studies are being conducted to definitively prove that raising the vaping age limit is harmful to the anti-tobacco message, vapers everywhere are rejoicing in the fact that reports are proving what is already fact in the vaping community — vaping can save lives by helping people, even teenagers, quit smoking. Watch this space for more news at it develops.

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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3 Responses

  1. Greg H says:

    Restricting Youth could be a death sentence!

    It is proven that our children are going to experiment and by restricting them from vaping products that do not contain nicotine (0-mg Ejuice) will leave them to experiment with tobacco instead, get addicted to tobacco and then in 4 or 5 years when they turn of age they will be faced with the same thing we all had tobacco addiction and be faced with the same struggle to quit as all of us and some may never recover. Age restriction could pose a great negative than a positive, there is no proof to date that vaping is harmful in anyway, over a decade and not one documented case of vaping causing lung disease or cancer and no evidence that vaping is harmful to the vaper or the public around them, with or without nicotine. Tobacco taxes and regulations were put in place due to proof of harm, where is the proof of harm from vaping? Why are they fighting to age restrict, because they know the youth will turn to tobacco and slow the revenue lost from people quitting tobacco but if they leave vaping unrestricted youth may turn to it instead of tobacco and that will hurt their pocketbooks even more. This battle against vaping is so full of B*ll Sh*t it is all about taxes and money, I demand to see PROOF of HARM to justify the regulation, VAPING IS NOT SMOKING!

  2. John says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Restricting the purchase of something that’s a safer alternative will just encourage youth to go through other means to get what’s more easily obtained: cigarettes. It’s much harder to ask someone to go into a store and buy an expensive vape rig or various juices, but a pack of cigarettes is considerably easier to get your hands on.

  3. Mark says:

    While preliminary research shows that teens turn to cigarettes instead of vaping due to age restrictions, either way the teens can and do get their hands on either cigarettes or vaping material. Why not reduce the age to 17 maybe 16 and see where it leads us? I can say that even though I’m no PHD or research scientist but the truth of the matter is….vaping saves lives, weather you are 16 and just starting your life or you are 66 and you have seen the best part of middle age pass you by. Why not give it a trial run say 6-12 month study period over select states and select areas, see what happens when you lower the age to vape to say….16, any less and I think child welfare laws might start kicking in. Hell what do they have to loose except a stinking nasty habit for the youth of today and probably several millions of dollars that big tobacco won’t get in their bank accounts.

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