E-cigarette epidemic US youth does not exist
What happens in the United States will often spread to Europe later. This applies to both positive developments and negative issues. Enough reason to be suspicious of the increasing use of e-cigarettes among young people in America. But is this information correct? Is there an e-cigarette epidemic among young people in the US or are the figures incorrect?
Where do the numbers come from?
In itself, the source of the figures is legitimate, because they come from a large-scale population survey. It goes wrong when interpreting the figures. All young people who say they have ever tried an e-cigarette are counted as users. That is about the same as a child who tastes a sip of beer from dad is immediately labelled as an alcoholic. There are indeed quite a few American youngsters who have vaporized once, the number of regular users of e-cigarettes is much lower. But this nuance was not included in the reporting.
Less smoking, more vaping
There is another assumption that is not true when you view all the figures; that young people who use e-cigarettes later switch to cigarettes. Since 2000 the use of cigarettes in the United States has fallen enormously, since 2011 the e-cigarette is on the rise. The number of smokers continued to fall after 2011, so the introduction of e-smoking has no influence on smoking. Or maybe so, because even the invalid smokers quit in recent years. Often an (intermediate) step is made towards vapours. This may not be perfect, but it is a lot better than breathing in tar and soot.
Is vaping among young people an epidemic?
The figures show nowhere that young people opt for the e-cigarette en masse, and as a "gateway" or a stepping stone to smoking, vapors also appear to play no significant role at all. Look beyond conclusions and high-profile headlines, first check the source before you pass judgment.