U.K. Study: E-Cigs Aren’t A Nicotine Addiction Gateway
A study published in March by the Action on Smoking and Health organization has found evidence that electronic cigarettes are not serving as the gateway to nicotine addiction that some opponents claim. Indeed, as already appeared evident, most electronic cigarette users were current or ex-smokers and were using the products as a way to cut down on or quit smoking.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is a consortium of anti-tobacco pressure groups. Despite many organizations like ASH falling decidedly against electronic cigarettes, it appears ASH is more willing to do the research and determine an appropriate course of action for the products based on fact and evidence — rather than a lack thereof.
ASH put out a document in March on electronic cigarettes that was surprisingly balanced in its presentation. Among other things, the document claimed there is little evidence of use by those who have never smoked or by children. It even goes on to say that it does not consider it appropriate to include e-cigarettes under smokefree regulations.
The ASH study found that the number of non-smokers trying electronic cigarettes is not growing. This suggests that a part of the non-smoking population is not growing more or less interested in electronic cigarettes. In short, it appears non-smokers aren’t going to be a major source of growth for the industry the way opponents try to claim.
This study supports previous evidence and further shines a light on why many tobacco cessation products like gums and patches are losing business. E-cigs appear to do the job that they can’t — even if scientific research isn’t caught up enough to confirm that it’s the case. It’s long been known, though, that the success rate of cessation products approaches almost zero percent on a long enough timeline because the rate of smoking remission is extraordinarily high.
Many people have grown suspicious of the tobacco cessation model — one which charges large amounts of money for very low success rates and an almost inevitable need to attempt quitting again. E-cigs appear to break that model.