Was There a Need For A Ban?

As you may know this site is for people 18+ years and has been for some time. We have age verification before you enter the site, and again when you make an order. But what you may not know is why.

Recently it became a legal requirement for e-cigarette websites due to the new TPD laws. It has been billed as a way to stop teenagers from trying nicotine, and falling into smoking. Today we are looking at the reasoning behind this worry of e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking and see if it's true.

The Law

The law was created for one obvious reason, to keep kids from trying nicotine. The EU was worried that kids might go from the e-cigarette to actual cigarettes.Basically the opposite journey that we want people to take.

At SMOKO we of course support the age ban, nicotine is an addictive substance after all. It is much better not to try it then have the hassle of quitting it.

But what we wanted to look at is this idea that e-cigarettes are a gateway to cigarettes for the under 18's that people fear they are, and see how much truth there is in it.

The Debate

It turns out that this is still a hotly debated topic, like most things concerning e-cigarettes. For the last couple of years people have been studying this exact issue, to see if there is a link between e-cigarettes and moving to cigarettes. The good news is there doesn't seem to be much of one.

There does seem to be a growing consensus though that e-cigarettes are not the gateway drug that many worried about.

ASH Wales, the organisation dedicated to stopping smoking in Wales were one of first to look into this. They have for years been taking a survey every year of over 800 under 18's to try and find out the opinion on cigarettes and how many children and teenagers are smoking.

In the last couple of years they have added questions about e-cigarettes. What they found was that of the 90% of children who have tried cigarettes and e-cigarettes, cigarettes came first. Which does deflate the idea of e-cigarettes being a gateway somewhat.

ASH has actually been seeing this trend for the last couple of years. Surveys show that the vast majority of those under 18 consistently try cigarettes before they try e-cigarettes. It also showed that many actually have used e-cigarettes to quit entirely.

Other studies have proven the same thing. A study from UK Centre for Substance Use Research stated that rather than a gateway drug, e-cigarettes are a "roadblock" to combustible tobacco."

Another piece of good news from these studies is that the numbers of young smokers is dropping every year.

What keeps people talking about this?

If there is little evidence that e-cigarettes are helping people to become smokers, why is there a ban on under 18's in the first place?

The reason is that every once in a while a new study will come out that says that e-cigarettes actually might act as a gateway. But Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Stirling and UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies disagrees.

"Surveys from other countries do keep claiming there is a link, despite youth smoking rates continuing to fall in the countries where these studies take place."

Even when new studies suggesting this are released, they almost immediately come under criticism.

For example a study came out recently in America that smoking and e-cigarettes are linked, however almost immediately Peter Hajek, director of tobacco research with the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary, University of London, criticized the work.

"The authors misinterpret their findings," Hajek said. "Like several previous studies of this type, this one just shows that people who try things, try things."

"In fact, the decline in youth smoking over the past few years has been faster than ever before. This does not necessarily mean that e-cigarette experimentation prevents the uptake of smoking, although this is possible," he added. "But there is clear and strong evidence that such experimentation does not contribute to smoking uptake."


The most worrying aspect about all this however is the misinformation that many teenagers believe.

Many told studies that e-cigarettes are as bad or even worse then cigarettes. This is categorically not true as they are in fact 95% less harmful then cigarettes.

If they believe this it makes sense why they some would think it is not an issue to move from e-cigarettes to cigarettes. The good news is that as e-cigarettes become more popular misinformation like this fades away


The reason then the TPD included the ban for under 18's then seems to be more just in case then based on any real evidence. With more information coming out every year that supports that idea that not only are e-cigarettes not a gateway to cigarettes but that they can act as a roadblock to them (stopping them before they start as it were) it seems strange to limit their effectiveness.

However when it comes to the next generation it always seems prudent to act on the side of caution. Even though studies show that the new laws are not needed the EU is taking a better safe than sorry approach which frankly is hard arguing against.


If you would like to be one of the millions who has made the switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes (and are over 18...) then click here and see if you can change your life for the better.


About SMOKO Premium E-Cigarettes

SMOKO Premium Electronic Cigarettes is the UK’s leading brand of e-cigarettes.  Since starting in 2012, SMOKO has helped prevent the use of over 100,000,000 cigarettes. We have also helped our customers save over £32,500,000 in extra disposable income.

SMOKO E-Cigarettes contains only the highest quality, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients which have been Made in the UK. The majority of e-cigarette brands sold in grocery and convenience stores, petrol stations and on-line use Chinese-made ingredients.

SMOKO Electronic Cigarettes contain only 4 ingredients vs. the 4,000 chemicals and 50 known carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes.

Amazing flavour, realistic smoking sensation and quality you can trust

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