Does the gateway theory justify a ban on nicotine vaping in Australia?


Hello I’m Colin Mendelsohn. One of the
main arguments used to justify Australia’s ban on nicotine vaping is
that it will lead many young people to become regular smokers.Well we looked at the evidence and found that it just doesn’t stack up. Firstly young people
who vape are more likely later to try smoking but there’s no good evidence
that vaping CAUSES adolescents to take up smoking Young people who vape, simply are risk-takers who are also more likely to engage in other risky behaviors such as
smoking but also drinking alcohol and using other substances. Secondly smoking usually PRECEDES vaping. Most young people who vape are already smokers and
some using vaping to quit smoking. Thirdly in young non-smokers regular
vaping is rare and nicotine addiction is very rare. Fourth, most vaping by young
people is experimental and infrequent and is of little public health
importance. Fifth, smoking rates for young people are falling faster than
ever in the UK and in the US where vaping is widely available so we
think it’s much more likely that vaping is actually diverting young people away
from smoking. Young people shouldn’t vape or smoke however the reality is that they will take risks whether adults like it or not and it’s better if they rebel
by vaping rather than trying deadly cigarettes. We recommend a balanced
regulatory approach that allows nicotine vaping for adults who are unable to quit
while restricting access for young people. To find out more please read our
study on the following slide…