Vaping News

Smoke Free Sweden Welcomes Gateway Report

The Smoke Free Sweden initiative is delighted to share the news that a new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine debunks the gateway effect

Share on:
The Smoke Free Sweden initiative is delighted to share the news that a new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine debunks the gateway effect. The report, titled ‘Shift From Smoking Cigarettes to Vaping Nicotine in Young Adults’, discredits the common misconception that vaping leads non-smokers to cigarette smoking.

The survey concluded: “These data reveal a shift in tobacco use among young adults, showing historically low cigarette use, which has positive public health significance. However, e-cigarette use is higher (14.5%) than reported previously (11%), coinciding with the introduction of salt-based devices in 2015 to 2018. Over half of established vaping young adults never regularly smoked. Research suggests that exclusive e-cigarette users are unlikely to transition to combustible tobacco.”

Reacting to the study, Dr Delon Human, leader of the Smoke Free Sweden initiative and former Health Advisor to WHO Directors-General, stated: “This report clearly debunks the gateway theory. It aligns with our experience in Sweden, where embracing safer alternatives like e-cigarettes has been pivotal in reducing smoking rates.”

The research, which focuses on people aged 18 to 24, shows a significant decline in the number of cigarette smokers in the US, from 52 percent in 2013/14 to 35 percent in 2021, despite an increase in e-cigarette use. The findings emphasise e-cigarettes’ role in harm reduction, given their lower emission of toxicants compared to traditional cigarettes.

The research comes as Sweden is set to become the EU’s first smoke-free country, with less than 5% of the population smoking. This remarkable achievement can be attributed, in part, to the widespread availability of less harmful alternative products, such as e-cigarettes.

Dr Human adds: “By adopting the Swedish approach, millions of lives around the world can be saved. That’s in no small part a result of the accessibility, availability and affordability of reduced harm products, such as e-cigarettes, in Sweden.

Commenting on the report last week, Professor Peter Hajek said: “A concern has been often expressed that for young people, e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking. This new report suggests the opposite, i.e. that e-cigarettes are deflecting young people who would otherwise smoke to doing something much less risky. It also shows that the increase in vaping has been proportional to the decrease in smoking and that nicotine use overall among young people has not increased. This is all good news for finally getting rid of smoking-related lung disease, heart disease and cancer.”

Smoke Free Sweden is a campaign which encourages other countries to follow the Swedish model when it comes to Tobacco Harm Reduction. Sweden is about to become the first ‘smoke-free’ European country in 2023, with a smoking rate of below 5 percent. This is a huge achievement, and will be 17 years ahead of the 2040 EU target. This can be attributed to Sweden’s open attitude towards alternative products. More information on Sweden’s successful approach to becoming a smoke-free nation can be found on their website:

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

Be Vape Vigilant Success

The ‘Be Vape Vigilant’ national initiative has exposed more than 100 potential rogue vape traders says the UK Vaping Industry Association

Vaping News

The COP10 Scorecard

Dr Derek Yach and Tobacco Harm have released a COP10 Scorecard report, drawing upon recent World Health Organization (WHO) reports to assess progress made by Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

Vaping News

A Manifesto for Smokefree Beginnings

The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group has produced its fourth national report: “A Manifesto for Smokefree Beginnings”

Vaping News

European Parliament Endorses Smoking Cessation Tool

The European Parliament has endorsed vaping as a smoking cessation tool via its Subcommittee on Public Health, according to the World Vapers’ Alliance