Vaping Has Not Caused an Increase in Youth Smoking Rates: Study
Vaping does not cause an increase in youth smoking rates, according to a new Canadian study.
The findings contradict the results of a study from The BMJ in 2019, which cliamed that there had been a significant increase in youth smoking rates after years of steady decline, causing alarm from health authorities and parents.
Many blamed vaping for the sudden increase in youth smoking rates. But a new study from Health Canada, titled the "Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey," caused the BMJ to release a correction.
“In the original paper in The BMJ, changes in past 30 day smoking prevalence between 2017 and 2018 in Canada were reported as 10.7% to 15.5% (a statistically significant increase), which was revised after reweighting to 10.7% to 10.0% (no significant change),” states the update.
Vaping Industry Response
According to The Canadian Vaping Association, this shows that youth smoking rates have continued to decline, which the association asserts proves that vaping is not a gateway to combustible tobacco.
“The CVA has always been a proponent of protecting youth from nicotine addiction. We are pleased to see that inaccurate information is being corrected, as the erroneous statistics previously reported in this study were being used to justify legislation against the most successful harm reduction product on the market,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.
Indeed, findings from the Royal College of Physicians have shown vaping is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking. The College has reported those findings for the last six years. "Vaping is intended as a tool for adult smokers to reduce their harm. It is not intended for use by youth or non-smokers," explained the CVA in a written statement. "Vaping has been proven repeatedly to be the most effective cessation product available globally, with smokers being 83 percent more likely to be successful quitting smoking through vaping than through any other cessation product."
"The analysis of data now accurately reflects that there is no connection between youth vaping and tobacco use. Vaping is the most successful harm reduction tool, not a gateway to tobacco use, and the legislation must reflect this in order to save the lives of millions of Canadian smokers," the CVA continued.
It is important to note that the original BMJ study looked at youth smoking rates in The United States and the UK, alongside Canada. These new findings don't necessarily reflect changes in those other countries. Still, the findings could be seen as a boon for an industry that has been at loggerheads with health officials for some time.