The IBVTA respond to a controversial survey with facts and figures
The Independent British Vape Trade Association continue to make their name as a force to be reckoned with in the vaping world. After a successful launch conference in April, and an announcement that they would be writing the most thorough trading standards document to date, their latest ventures have come in the form of making their media presence known through assertive responses to popular claims.
In an email response to research published in the British Medical Journal insinuating e-cigarettes cause UK teens to take up smoking, Richard Hyslop, Chief Executive of the IBVTA, had the following to say:
“The key issue is not how many children try vaping, but how many vape regularly, and how many having tried vaping, go on to smoke tobacco cigarettes. We know that 97 per cent of vapers are adult current or former smokers.”
Richard Hyslop went on to assert:
“There is no evidence of vaping acting as a gateway into smoking. If there were, smoking rates would be rising as vaping has become more popular, instead smoking rates are at their lowest levels, including amongst children. The UK currently has the second lowest smoking rates in the EU. A point supported by the authors of this research.”
Research backing the response was also included in the email, listed below Hyslop’s own words. He cited the ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) study confirming that there are 2.9 million UK vapers, 1.5 million of whom have given up smoking completely. ASH have also shown that children are not vaping in significant numbers, with vape products rare and “confined almost entirely to those who currently or have previously smoked.”
Teenagers who do vape mostly use nicotine-free liquids, and ASH’s most recent survey on the subject “found the lowest recorded smoking rates among children ever across the UK: only 18 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds had tried smoking in 2014 compared with 42 per cent in 2003.”
The claim about 97% of vapers being adult current or former smokers comes from the Office of National Statistics. Queen Mary University in London have shown that “a child trying a tobacco cigarette for the first time is 50 per cent likely to become a regular smoker,” and that the same correlation cannot be claimed for children who try e-cigarettes becoming regular vapers.
The organisation took their response to the airwaves, debating the survey’s assertions on BBC Radio Wales on August 18. On the previous day, the IBVTA twitter account sent out a statement made by member Professor Robert West from University College London on the BMJ’s journal Tobacco Control, which bears repeating here considering these more recent claims:
“It seems unlikely that e-cigarette use by young people is causing more of them to smoke, because smoking rates in this age group now are declining at least as fast as they were before e-cigarettes started to become popular.”
Throughout their steadfast support of vaping, it is worth repeating that the IBVTA have gone out of their way to discourage youth vaping and renounce any company that markets e-cigarettes to anyone who doesn’t need them, including non-smokers and the underage.