The Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes May Lead to More Smoking by Teenagers as Well as Adults

As the popularity of e-cigarettes has exploded, smoking rates among high school students have reached record lows.

by Jacob Sullum

The Department of Health and Human Services says the Trump administration’s pending ban on flavored e-cigarettes is necessary because of recent increases in underage vaping. The department cites “preliminary numbers from the National Youth Tobacco Survey” (NYTS) that “show a continued rise in the disturbing rates of youth e-cigarette use.” Yet those data also show that smoking by teenagers continues to fall, which undermines the claim that e-cigarettes are a gateway to the real thing and suggests that vaping is actually a substitute for smoking.

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