The study, “Prevalence of vaping and smoking among adolescents in Canada, England, and the United States: repeat national cross sectional surveys,” which was published in the BMJ in 2019, had suggested that there was a significant increase in youth smoking rates after years of steady decline. Many referred to the Gateway Theory claiming that vaping was to blame for this sudden increase in teen smoking, alarming the Canadian Vaping Association, health authorities and parents across the country.
“We are pleased to see that inaccurate information is being corrected, as the erroneous statistics previously reported in this study were being used to justify legislation against the most successful harm reduction product on the market.”
However, the release of Health Canada’s Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CSTADS), has resulted in a forced correction to be published in The BMJ. “In the original paper in The BMJ, changes in past 30 day smoking prevalence between 2017 and 2018 in Canada were reported as 10.7% to 15.5% (a statistically significant increase), which was revised after reweighting to 10.7% to 10.0% (no significant change),” states the update.
This correction led to the conclusion that in fact teen smoking rates are continuing to decline, thus confirming (in line with previous findings), that vaping is not a gateway to combustible tobacco. “The CVA has always been a proponent of protecting youth from nicotine addiction. We are pleased to see that inaccurate information is being corrected, as the erroneous statistics previously reported in this study were being used to justify legislation against the most successful harm reduction product on the market,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.
Read Further: CVA