On the 8th of March this year, the BBC programme Newsround broadcast a report about e-cigarette manufacturers targeting their products at children. The fear being that e-cigarettes are a gateway to the smoking of tobacco cigarettes.
It is understandable for people to be concerned about young people taking up the smoking of tobacco cigarettes, particularly a news programme aimed at children; however these particular concerns have no foundation.
Research, including a recent survey commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), has shown time and time again that e-cigarettes are not attractive to young people, and are therefore not used as a gateway to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Although awareness of e-cigarettes was widespread amongst young people aged 11 to 18, the ASH survey found no evidence that young people either used or perceived e-cigarettes as being a gateway to smoking.
Evidence produced by a variety of organisations including ASH and the American Cancer Society (ACS) clearly shows that flavours do not entice non-smokers to use e-cigarettes either, especially the young, as they have no interest in the product.
Researchers from the ACS looked specifically into the enticement of flavours. They found that flavours did not increase the attractiveness of e-cigarettes to teenagers. Rather, “Even after controlling for other statistically significant correlates, the odds of a smoker being willing to try an e-cigarette were 10 times those of a non-smoker.”
Tobacco cigarettes are the gateway to tobacco smoking, not e-cigarettes.
You should also be aware that the House of Commons recently passed legislation banning the sale of e-cigarettes to under 18s in England and that the Welsh Assembly voted in favour of an identical ban in Wales. As a campaign we welcomed both bans and have publicly called for similar age restrictions to be introduced in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Save E Cigs.
 ASH surveyed 12,597 adults in 2010 – the questions focused on e-cigarette use and awareness in Great Britain. The preliminary survey was followed up by an additional study of adult smokers and non-smokers in February 2012 and more recently in 2013. ASH also surveyed children and young people aged 11 to 18 in March 2013.