For Teens, Vaping Today May Lead to Smoking Tomorrow

From Drugs.com - December 4, 2017

For Teens, Vaping Today May Lead to Smoking Tomorrow

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 -- The e-cigarette may not be just a "healthier alternative" to smoking for teens. New research shows that teens who vape may be more apt to use tobacco cigarettes later on.

When teens smoked an e-cigarette during one month, they were up to seven times more likely to smoke tobacco in the future, researchers found.

"Youth using e-cigarettes were consistently more likely to smoke," said study author Krysten Bold, an associate research scientist at Yale School of Medicine's department of psychiatry.

But, she also noted, "We cannot determine cause and effect from these kinds of reports. There can be many reasons kids decide to smoke."

Approximately 3 million U.S. teens currently use e-cigarettes, the researchers said.

"E-cigarettes are commonly used by youth, and have many features that are appealing to kids," Bold explained.

The study included more than 800 high schoolers from three public schools in Connecticut. The students completed surveys at three different times: 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The average age of the teens at the beginning of the study was 15. There were 428 girls and the group was nearly 90 percent white.

In 2013, nearly 9 percent of the students had used an e-cigarette in the past month, while almost 5 percent had smoked a cigarette. By 2014, those numbers were 12 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. In 2015, 14.5 percent of teens in the study had used an e-cig during the previous month, and 8.5 percent had smoked a tobacco cigarette, the survey revealed.

Between 2013 and 2014, the use of an e-cigarette during the past month was tied to a more than seven times risk of smoking a tobacco cigarette in the future. From 2014 to 2015, using an e-cigarette boosted the risk of having a real cigarette by four times, the findings showed.

The researchers also looked at the reverse relationship -- whether kids who smoked tobacco cigarettes were more likely to try e-cigarettes in the future. But they found no statistically significant relationship.


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