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Scientists Discuss Vaping at Vapexpo

The e cig is a relatively new invention, which means that vaping faces a lot of controversy, often from people who don't understand it very well. All new social trends face this sort of criticism, but it's still important to sort out the facts from the fear. A group of scientists, including Jacquies Le Houezec, Riccardo Polosa, Konstantinos Farsalinos, and Jean-François Etter recently attended Vapexpo in order to set the record straight about the idea that vaping acts as a gateway to cigarette use. They covered a variety of points which revealed the difficulty of drawing conclusions about the relation between smoking and vaping with the data that is currently available to researchers.

Frequency of Use

Frequency of use is an important point of consideration for anything that studies the medical impact of a substance or device. The scientists noted that many of the critics of vaping include people who have only tried a single e cig in studies alongside people who use them every day. Other people overstate the importance of studies that focus on people who have used them in the past thirty days, which is only useful for studying the short-term impact of vaping on health. In contrast, most of the studies that focus on cigarettes and other traditional tobacco products focus on people who use them regularly over an extended period of time. This creates a false equivalence between the two groups that makes it hard to compare the two products.

Causal Specificity

It's difficult to perform social research because it is impossible to test single variables in most cases. This is a problem when people try to determine the impact of vaping on the probability that people take up cigarette smoking, since many of the same variables increase the odds of both. The shared variables make it essentially impossible to determine if those shared variables cause people who vape to start smoking cigarettes as well, or if it is vaping that encourages people to smoke. Either cause would lead to the same end result, so scientists cannot accurately use the data to discover which is the case. The fact that vaping is still relatively rare in most demographic groups also makes it difficult to determine causality, since small groups are more likely to be swayed by a single confounding variable than large ones.

Precision of Information

Many studies on the effects of both smoking and vaping rely on people reporting information about themselves. That method can run into problems with accuracy, especially when dealing with stigmatized actions such as smoking. This can lead to different reports coming from different places due to variety in social norms, which can make it even harder to draw accurate conclusions.


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