Studies: Raising Vaping Age Limit Causes More Harm Than Good
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.