Have electronic cigarettes been created to stop smoking or to get young people to start?
There are many people in the world who either do not wish to, or cannot, quit smoking. These are the primary targets for the e-cig marketers.
E-cigs can and have helped many people to quit the habit completely. But they are first and foremost being used by heavy smokers to reduce the amount of harm that is caused by the burning of tobacco and the inhalation of its products.
Electronic Cigarettes Hold Promise As Aid to Quitting by Miles Dolphin on E-cigs
Nobody at all is target marketing e-cigs towards first-time-smokers and the young. To do so would be against everything the manufacturers and retailers believe in, many of whom are heavy users of e-cigs. The owner of my local shop is a very heavy “vaper” but he insists on the staff applying the same age restrictions to e-cigs as are applicable to ordinary cigarettes. This appears to be general throughout the industry, and (certainly in the UK) even more rigorously applied – especially by ECITA (the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association). ECITA by Miles Dolphin on E-cigs
It is currently contrary to regulations to advertise e-cigs as an aid to quitting, as this appears to be a medical claim and as such would be against the law as e-cigs are not medically regulated. The fact that they continue to be more effective at assisting quitting than many of the medically approved nicotine replacement therapies seems to be ignored by many health professionals.
There is no study which has shown that electronic cigarettes are preventing smokers from quitting: that is, that without electronic cigarette use a substantial number of vapers would have instead quit smoking.
Second, the existing evidence actually suggests the exact opposite. Rather than preventing smokers from quitting, electronic cigarettes are helping many smokers to either quit smoking completely or to cut down substantially on the amount they quit. In the Polosa study, which was conducted among smokersunmotivated to quit, 54% of the smokers either quit or cut down by more than half on their smoking when they initiated use of electronic cigarettes.