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Teen Smoking Down Dramatically, Showing Vaping Doesn't Lead to Regular Tobacco Use

Two recent studies show positive trends in relation to teen smoking--the rate of teenagers smoking cigarettes has fallen dramatically, and those who have tried tobacco vaping products do not progress to smoking cigarettes. The Tennessee Smoke Free Association, a trade organization with a focus on Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) through the use of personal vaporizers, are today pointing to the studies to dispel the myths that surround vapor products ahead of World Vape Day 2020, which occurs May 30th. The studies dispute the popular belief that vaping is a ‘gateway’ to smoking traditional tobacco products.

“The best news is that the smoking rate of 12th graders fell by an unprecedented 25 percent last year,” said Dimitris Agrafiotis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Smoke Free Association. “We are also very encouraged by the confirmation that using vapor products does not typically lead to smoking traditional tobacco products. Many of our association members--myself included--are former cigarette smokers who have kicked the habit completely by responsibly using vapor products.”

In the first study, researchers in the UK analyzed the results of the 2014-2017 US National Youth Tobacco Survey, and concluded that less than 1% of US adolescents who use e-cigarettes first became established cigarette smokers. Additionally, the annual Monitoring the Future study showed that teen smoking rates continue to fall--by 21 percent in 2018, and 25 percent in 2019.

“The Tennessee Smoke Free Association continues to support regulations that prohibit teens from smoking or vaping. We do not market to teens or initiate vape use to non-smokers. We fully support strong regulations like limiting tobacco sales to those 21 and up, and harsher punishments for anyone caught selling nicotine-containing or illegal vape products to minors,” said Agrafiotis. “But we will continue to fight for responsible adults who use vaping as a way to kick the harmful and deadly habit of smoking.”

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