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Comment & Response
May 14, 2014

Potential and Pitfalls of e-Cigarettes—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Legacy Foundation, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2014;311(18):1922-1923. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2999

In Reply Dr Maziak’s concerns are understandable, and I share his commitment to protecting youth. However, they are not currently protected: 5.6 million children alive today are expected to die as a result of cigarette use, along with 480 000 adults annually.1 Moving cigarette users to safer e-cigarettes benefits adults and youth.

There is little evidence that e-cigarettes are a gateway to cigarettes. A recent study suggested this possibility, but confused correlation with causation.2 Youth e-cigarette experimentation (2.1% in 2012) is not associated with increased cigarette use.3 On the contrary, youth smoking declined 10% annually between 2010 and 2013 to record lows (9.6%).3 Longitudinal surveillance is required to prove a direct causal gateway connection.

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