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Restricting Vape Access Increases Teen Smoking

The American Lung Association renews an attack but research says vape bans cause pregnant teens to smoke.

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The American Lung Association (ALA) releases its annual State of Tobacco Control report. In it the association attacks vaping once more, because the pharmaceutical industry pays it to. Meanwhile, a far more reliable document has emerged from two researchers, published with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which states that restricting access to vaping is a driving factor for increasing pregnant teen female smoking rates.

In its latest report, the ALA clings on to the same old tedious lies that it’s been trotting out for years: “Several recent studies have concluded that youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become users of traditional tobacco products, including cigarettes.  In addition, the Surgeon General, in a December 2016 report, concluded that candy-flavored e-cigarettes are one of the reasons youth try e-cigarettes.”

As Guy Bentley points out in the Washington Examiner: “For a charity that purports to save lives by reducing lung disease, the call for a minimum vaping age of 21 is puzzling. E-cigarettes contain no tobacco whatsoever, so it is somewhat bewildering for these products to be contained in a tobacco control report in the first place.”

The push to force more teens and young adults into a choice between attempting to quit or remain with cigarettes defies all logic, and contradicts all of the research demonstrating that vaping has helped to reduce rates of smoking in those groups.

And then there’s the press release from Princeton University, that unequivocally states: “While laws placing age limits on the purchasing of e-cigarettes are intended to reduce the use of tobacco products, a recent study shows an unintended consequence: a rise in traditional cigarette smoking among pregnant teens.”

The combined study, a joint venture between Princeton and Cornell universities, analysed the data from half a million births among American teens. The main finding is damning: “The research shows a 19.2 percent increase in cigarette smoking among pregnant teenagers - both of age and underage - and a 13.8 percent increase among underage pregnant teens following the enactment of minimum legal sale ages for electronic nicotine delivery systems.”

Janet Currie, co-author of the paper, commented: “Traditional cigarette use typically declines during pregnancy, but our results show that laws limiting access to e-cigarettes actually slows down this decline, presumably because women are prevented from switching to e-cigarettes.”

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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