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Vaping Does Not “Re-Normalise” Tobacco

6th Jan 2017

Vaping WomanIt’s normal in human nature to fear the unknown. We tend to feel some anxiety when presented with situations or things that we have never seen before. Even with the incredible pace at which technology is growing, it doesn’t mean that technology itself is excluded from this. Plenty of people, when faced with a type of technology they don’t know of or don’t fully understand, will initially be fearful of it.

Hollywood has made use of these specific fears for many years now. Have you seen films which depict technology going haywire and attacking the very humans that created it? It’s likely that you have. It isn’t hard to see and understand this type of plot when it is folding out in front of you. Yet, it’s those hidden plotlines that are perhaps more dangerous to progress.

Take as an example, electronic cigarettes and vapour devices. Even though this technology has already helped millions of people make a truly revolutionary change in their lives, it has been met with suspicion. Early on, there have been opponents of vaping. This opposition has largely been driven by fear of what vapour is, primarily from people that don’t fully understand it.

The tactics to drive such fear are tried and true. You hit people where they are most vulnerable to, where they don’t want to take any risks. Such as the fear that vaping will harm our young people. Or that vapour itself was dangerous to ingest. These are claims, despite being unfounded, that hit people where they worry the most.

The next level of claims also plays on fear that people have. One such claim is that vaping will “re-normalise” tobacco. The concept is that we have fought so hard to make tobacco a taboo, that vaping will reverse all of that work. That vapour devices will make smoking cool again somehow, and lure in people who otherwise wouldn’t have been interested in vaping. Well, we can officially put that idea to bed now.

Another Study Disproves Fear of Vapour

That’s right, another one bites the dust as far as fears of vapour are concerned. According to the Glasgow-based Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR), the idea that vaping will somehow take away the taboo of smoking is a myth. After surveying young people between the ages of 16 and 29, an overwhelming majority (96%) had no problem differentiating between smoke and vapour.

There was also no change reported by those surveyed with regard to their desire to smoke after seeing others around them vape. While it’s true that 61% of respondents admitted that seeing an electronic cigarette or other vapour device made them curious, only a third of those people actually went on to try one.

"These results cast doubt on claims of a link between the increased popularity of e-cigarettes, their ensuing visibility when used in public, and any resulting increase in the desire to smoke tobacco among young people," said Dr Neil McKeganey. As the director of CSUR and a lead author of the study, he knows full well the implications of the results. McKeganey went on to note that, "While the study suggests more people now consider vaping to be a 'normal' activity, it also shows that there is no basis for regulating e-cigarettes based on a fear they are making smoking more attractive, because this fear is clearly unfounded.”

There you have it. Now this myth that vapour products will “re-normalise” tobacco use actually has some numbers and analysis behind it to prove just how wrong that is. This probably won’t be the last study that looks at this connection, but with the data so overwhelmingly on the side of calling this idea false, we would be surprised to see much change.

Of course, the needed change is the mindset of those who fight against vaping for incorrect reasons such as this one. It’s been a long battle to fight this and other claims that were way off base, and we are sure to encounter more. In the meantime, millions of people around the UK, Europe, and the world have vapour to thank for making a huge difference in their lives. That is worth every battle that needs to be fought for the good name of vaping.