Stanton Glantz, one of the most vocal anti-vaping activists, seems more determined than ever. Until now, the University of San Francisco researcher based his views on his own research conclusions to “prove” that e-cigarettes were dangerous. His argument was that they would become a gateway drug to tobacco consumption, in particular among younger populations.
Now, however, he is basing his statements on studies from other departments, which at first glance seems like a good thing. And yet, he comes to the exact same conclusions. In particular, he quoted a British study that focused on survey questionnaires taken by students aged 11 to 16. They were asked about their beliefs and understandings regarding vaping technology and usage.
Jumping to conclusions
Glantz, along with the authors of said study, highlighted that few of those surveyed understood that e-liquids contained nicotine. Worse, 52% of them admitted to having tried vaping, when they had never tried cigarettes or tobacco products.
While these conclusions may be alarming, and most will agree vaping in school is a bad thing, there is another angle to consider. That many students didn’t understand e-liquids contained nicotine may be explained by the fact that many e-juices don’t actually contain any. Similarly, while many underage children admitted to having tried e-cigs, did any of them admit to having tried cigarettes as a result?
Indeed, one of the most cited arguments in the anti-vaping camp is that the habit (“inevitably”) leads to smoking tobacco. But figures show that tobacco consumption in underage populations is in fact decreasing. This counter argument deserves attention before anyone can go shouting from the rooftops that vaping is ruining future generations.
Glantz still has a long way to go, and a range of studies to analyse, before he’ll be able to convince us that vaping is bad for society. In the meantime, new studies are coming to light and the evidence is clear as day: vaping is 95% less harmful to health than cigarettes.