This should be seen as brilliant - only 4% of US teens now report having smoked. This is a dramatic switch and the reason for it is vaping, the e-cig. Yet the people reporting on the finding are now trying to suggest that somehow children vaping will, once their hooked on nicotine, switch to good old-fashioned cigarettes:
Twice as many teenagers are using e-cigarettes than conventional smoking with fears this could potentially lead to an addiction to nicotine.
The findings have raised concerns that e-cigarettes - widely viewed as harmless to health - might act as a 'gateway' to tobacco.
The study, based on surveys of 50,000 students in 400 secondary schools in the US, is the first sign among this age group the use of e-cigarettes has surpassed the use of traditional tobacco products, researchers claim.
Let's be clear about one thing here - there is precisely zero evidence to support the suggestion from these 'researchers' that e-cigs "might act as a 'gateway' to tobacco", In fact the evidence tells us that the reverse is true - people who have used tobacco are switching to vaping.
Almost one-fifth of smokers who try ECs once go on to become regular users. ECs may develop into a genuine competitor to conventional cigarettes. Government agencies preparing to regulate ECs need to ensure that such moves do not create a market monopoly for conventional cigarettes.
There's no reason to believe that the situation with children will be markedly different from adults. But even if children are opting for vaping rather than smoking this has to be significant in terms of general health benefits. So why is it that researchers - and newspapers like the Daily Mail - persist in trying to suggest that e-cigarettes and vaping are somehow a gateway to smoking smoking? Even when Action of Smoking and Health (ASH) tell us this ain't so?
'Nicotine can be harmful to the growing brain so it's best if young people avoid it. But if they're going to experiment it's better to use e-cigarettes as vaping is far less dangerous than smoking and much less addictive.
'So far in the UK and the US, smoking rates are going down more than e-cigarette use is growing. This would not be the case if vaping really were a gateway into smoking.'