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A new study suggests that teens who vape would probably be smoking cigarettes instead if vapes had never become available.

The academic article, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, set out to determine whether youth who vaped between 2014 and 2018 would, in the absence of e-cigarettes, likely have become smokers. In other words, the social epidemiologists who co-authored the study—Dr. Natasha Sokol, [...] wanted to question the so-called “gateway” theory: the idea that vaping, for teenagers, is a path toward smoking.