The University of Leicester will soon begin research into the vaping trends among UK adolescents.
‘Adolescent Vaping Careers’ is the title of a new study to be funded by Cancer Research UK, aiming to look closer into the vaping trend amongst young people. The study, led by researcher Professor Jason Hughes, will explore whether vaping may act as a gateway to smoking.
Professor Hughes stated that “a great deal of controversy surrounds the extent to which e-cigarettes might act as a ‘gateway’ to smoking, and might be exploited by tobacco companies as a new means of recruiting a generation of nicotine dependents. However, equally, e-cigarettes might offer a way for young smokers to switch to a safer source of nicotine or to stop entirely.”
Dr. Michelle O’Reilly, along with others, will assist Professor Hughes (of the University of Leicester’s College of Social Science, Arts and Humanities). The study will be looking into factors that play key roles in motivating users to make the switch to vaping from smoking and will explore how different behaviours and habits amongst adolescents are influenced by “social learning, media influences, peer networks, and a range of socio-economic factors.”
Striving for suitable harm reduction strategies for adolescents
Public health experts will welcome this study, as the idea that vaping is used as a gateway has been circulating far too often, and is even used to inform policies in some cases, despite several studies dispelling the gateway theory. The team at the University of Leicester hope to provide enough data in order to promote adequate tobacco control strategies within the younger generation.