Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The gateway excuse

I was on BBC Radio Sussex talking about e-cigarettes this morning. You can listen here from about ten minutes in. The item was ostensibly about a headteacher banning e-cigarettes in a school in Hove, but it soon expanded to deal with tobacco harm reduction in general and the 'gateway hypothesis' in particular.

I have also written a blogpost for the IEA on the subject here.

The ban itself is uncontroversial and inconsequential—the headteacher seemed perplexed by the media attention and conceded that he knew of very few pupils who use e-cigarettes—but the reasons given for it are more concerning. The letter sent to parents claimed that e-cigarettes "may be acting as a gateway into smoking, rather than a way of stopping". In other words, non-smokers start using e-cigarettes and then progress to smoking. E-cigarettes are therefore part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Do go read the whole thing.

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