Vaping as a gateway to smoking – evidence briefing

This briefing presents our understanding of the role played by vaping in smoking initiation based on the examination of existing literature and engagement work with national and international experts.

Policy implications

Despite the limitations highlighted in the systematic reviews and meta-analyses examined for this briefing, the Scottish Government has taken into account the strong association between vaping and initiation of smoking, and adopted an approach aimed to protect all non-smokers (and especially the youngest) from the risk of becoming addicted to nicotine.

This is a developing area of research and it is likely to take some years until long-term trends can be observed. Even then, it may not be possible to establish causality. The Scottish Government will continue to monitor vaping and smoking statistics, and consider any new evidence encountered on the gateway effect.



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