One of the most popular scare stories that has circled the vaping community time after time (without conclusive evidence) has hopefully been debunked once and for all thanks to a major study by Public Health England (PHE).

The ‘gateway theory’ suggests that teenagers are experimenting with e-cigarettes and then moving on to traditional tobacco cigarettes, however the latest research totally contradicts that flawed assumption.

PHE’s extensive study of 60,000 teens revealed that just 3% of 11-16 year olds used an e-cigarette and almost all of these had already smoked tobacco.

Woman Vaping E-Cigarette


Participants who were regular users of e-cigarettes but had never smoked tobacco was as low as 0.1%, disproving the gateway theses claimed in previous studies.

These findings are very encouraging for the vaping community and Professor Linda Bauld said:

“Recent studies have generated alarming headlines that e-cigarettes are leading to smoking. Our analysis of the latest surveys from all parts of the United Kingdom, involving thousands of teenagers shows clearly that for those teens who don’t smoke, e-cig experimentation is simply not translating into regular use”

Another key finding which adds positivity in the fight for Tobacco Harm Reduction is that ‘smoking rates in young people continue to decline’.

Sat Holding Cigarette


Martin Dockrell, tobacco policy manager, Public Health England, stated:

“The findings in this study suggest that in terms of protecting children we are broadly getting the balance right in the UK.”

“We have a regulatory system that aims to protect children and young people while ensuring adult smokers have access to safer nicotine products that can help them stop smoking.”

Given the strict advertising regulations that the vaping industry must abide by, informing smokers of the benefits of e-cigarettes can be difficult so Studies such as this one, conducted by reputable organisations like PHE, are very important to help provide accurate information amid the smokescreen of fake news.