Which should come as no surprise to anybody, but apparently because vaping makes teens more likely to try cigarettes, people conflate that vaping leads to smoking. Unfortunately for all the fools out there, science is still a thing, and it has shown that vaping eLiquids doesn't increase the odds that teenagers will become smokers, at least according to a new study that looked at more than 12,000 middle school and high school students in the United States.
The study calls into question earlier questionable research that had linked electronic cigarettes to traditional smoking, using methods that were not exactly scientifically rigorous. This new research published in the oddly specific medical journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, suggests any relationship between teenage vaping and smoking can be attributed to shared risk factors for tobacco use. That just means whether a person drinks alcohol or is surrounded by smokers or users of other substances.
The earlier research which has already made it's way around the web and into the vape hysteria that's going around linked vaping to "established cigarette smoking" in adolescents. This latest study has a simple explanation for that apparent link and it's the common sense most vapers have been saying all along; people who tend to vape may just be more similar to those who tend to smoke.
Researchers used complex statistical methods to account for preexisting differences among teens, looking at demographic information such as race and sex, and also behavioral information, such as how often a teen reported how often they took risks or being disciplined. As they say in the tech world, the more data, the more information, the better the results and analysis you get.
Before controlling for those characteristics, the old study equated trying an e-cigarette as increasing the odds of being considered a current smoker over 35 times, a remarkably artificial increase and a broad misclassification. That factored effect went away when researchers accounted for more than a dozen shared risk factors, ones the previous study simply ignored.
Is this the beginning of good enough science coming out to battle the vape hysteria induced panic everyone and their mom seems to be going through right now? Are the v ape bans inevitably going to be challenged with good science and informed public? Only time will tell, but tell us what you think!