Durham University has today published details of new research that states that young people do not see e cigarettes as a form of smoking.
A study led by Fiona Measham, a Professor of Criminology at the university, claims that young people experience different motivations for using e-cigarettes to those of adults.
The study looked at trends in smoking-related attitudes and behaviours amongst 14 to 25 year olds and found that only 28% of participants used e cigarettes to help them stop smoking, whereas the majority were attracted by the flavours available and the ability to perform tricks with the vapour.
There have been concerns voiced regarding e-cigarettes and the fact they could ‘renormalise’ or act as a gateway to smoking for young people, however the study indicates that the differences in the attitudes towards vaping and tobacco smoking highlight that this would not be the case. Professor Measham stated that, whereas adults primarily see e-cigarettes as a method to quit smoking “Young people see them as different activities and do not associate vaping with the idea of a being a smoker or non-smoker. The young people we spoke with did not relate to the adult motivations ascribed to e-cigarettes, such as smoking cessation and nicotine consumption.”
She went on to say that “Whilst public health professionals, policy makers and academics are debating about whether e-cigarettes may help reduce tobacco smoking or entice young people into nicotine addiction, and potentially cigarette smoking, when we actually listen to young people the majority of them are not interested in either of these reasons for vaping.”
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The results of the study have been published in a new journal ‘Drugs, Education, Prevention and Policy’, which can be viewed or downloaded here.