Last Updated on November 14, 2019 by

eCigarettes could lead to cocaine and cannabis use!

While there is no doubt that the electronic cigarette industry has been the recipient of an array of bizarre claims and counterclaims, a claim today seems to top everything we have seen before. Scientists from Columbia University, New York today suggest that electronic cigarettes could be a gateway to cocaine and cannabis use. The husband-and-wife team have certainly caught the attention of the worldwide mass media, especially those with a vested interest in reducing the ongoing popularity of electronic cigarettes.

The research note suggested that nicotine has the potential to impact brain function and encourage the take-up of illegal drugs such as cocaine and cannabis. Aside from the fact that those looking to take up electronic cigarettes are nearly wholly made up of individuals looking to reduce their tobacco/nicotine intake there is no credible evidence to suggest that nicotine or tobacco leads to cocaine/cannabis use.

Is this another smear campaign?

There is no suggestion whatsoever that the scientists involved in this report have any hidden agenda or they are indeed working with outside parties looking to blacken the name of the electronic cigarette industry. Indeed despite the headline grabbing title there is a quote in the report which says “We don’t yet know whether e-cigarettes will prove to be a gateway to the use of conventional cigarettes and illicit drugs, but that’s certainly a possibility.”

It therefore looks as if those looking to tarnish the electronic cigarette industry have chosen their comments and their quotes very carefully from the research note. In the modern scientific world it would take more than one report to confirm or deny a particular conclusion so, again, we have to wonder who is behind the publicity which this research note has received.

Are electronic cigarettes a gateway product?

If you listen to the politicians, some from the medical profession and those with a vested interest against electronic cigarettes, they will try to persuade you that electronic cigarettes are a gateway product, but a gateway product to what? They suggest that they are a gateway product to tobacco cigarettes, despite the fact that the vast majority of those using electronic cigarettes are cutting back on their tobacco cigarette intake. They claim that young children are using electronic cigarettes in large numbers, despite research and data to the contrary, and moving on to tobacco cigarettes.

We have seen many scare stories about electronic cigarettes but surely an industry which is as potentially dangerous as some would have you believe would be dead and buried by now? The reality is that electronic cigarettes left their niche market status behind just after the turn-of-the-century. There are now millions of users, billions of dollars of turnover per annum and, in the words of some medical supporters, they offer potentially the best opportunity to rid the world of tobacco cigarette addiction.


Time will tell how successful electronic cigarettes are for those looking to reduce/quit their tobacco intake. However, even the most ardent critics readily admit they are at worst less harmful and at best up to 90% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. When will the scare stories end?

Mark Benson

Mark Benson is a contributing author for Spinfuel eMagazine. His continuing columns will bring a levelheaded approach to the dynamics involved in realizing a positive future for the e-cigarette industry. For more information on StopTober 2014  and other promotions please visit the OKCigs website.”