A new analysis of survey data from nearly 130,000 middle‐school and high‐school students raises serious questions about the widespread belief that e‐cigarettes help reduce the number of teenagers who smoke tobacco.
When they processed the survey data for those 17‐year‐old girls who had vaped, however, a stunning 43 percent were tobacco smokers. “If e‐cigarettes are a substitute for smoking, we would expect the exact opposite,” says Ladner. “We would expect to see even more of the vapers not smoking.”
The program focuses on illegal sales to those under 21, not on the purchases, since the youth are seen as “victims.” Though some criticize the Tobacco 21 program of creating a “nanny state,” Geist said he is not aware of any businesses failing because of the law.