eCigarettes are controversial. Some people regard them as a major health improvement because they are far less harmful than "real" cigarettes. Others seem to think they are just another way for the tobacco industry to enslave people with an addictive substance.

A recent study was reported by the Los Angeles Times like this:

Teens who vape are more likely to become teens who smoke — and smoke more often

But there have been plenty of contradictory studies on e-cigs and their impact (see, for example, the different answers to this related question: Are electronic cigarettes a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes? ). Is this one consistent with others? Are e-cigarettes a gateway to real cigarettes in teenagers (or any other group forthat matter)?

  • 7
    Not in my view the interesting question (the answer is almost certainly yes to some degree, as teenagers willing to experiment with putting cloudy nicotine cylinders in their mouths are likely to be correlated with teenagers willing to put other kinds of cloudy nicotine cylinders in their mouths). To me, the interesting question is whether the existence of e-cigarettes increases or decreases the number of teenagers who go on to be smoking real cigarettes when they stop being teenagers
    – Henry
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 8:55
  • @Henry Yes that is the interesting question. I think the question I asked should be interpreted broadly enough that answers can accommodate the question you pose (i didn't intend to pose the question narrowly).
    – matt_black
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 8:59
  • 2
    Obligatory "correlation!=causation". Did the study rule out the fact that the same kids who'd have smoked anyway, now choose to vape instead, but absent e-cigarettes they would have chosen to smoke?
    – user5341
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 11:10
  • On the flip side, researchers know about similar effects (lowering risk raises risky behavior - notably with road safety laws).
    – user5341
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 11:10
  • This link tends to show the opposite-gizmodo.com/… Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 15:53


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