19 August, 2017
In the ongoing debate over whether e-cigarettes help smokers quit or lure new smokers to take up the habit, a new study is sounding the alarm over the use of e-cigarettes among adolescents.
Giovenco told MedPage Today that the relationship between daily e-cigarette use and smoking cessation held in all sub-analyses.
"Our findings also indicated that the association between ever use of e-cigarettes and initiation of cigarette use was particularly strong among adolescents with no friends who smoked, a group usually considered to be less susceptible to smoking initiation".
The researchers then went back to the children who used vape pens a year later and found that 34 percent of them had smoked at least one tobacco cigarette since the first survey.
Starting smoking is significantly more likely among adolescents whose family and friends indulge in the habit, and less common in those who have a negative attitude towards cigarettes.
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Our study in United Kingdom adolescents found patterns similar to those reported in longitudinal studies among adolescents aged 13 to 14 years and older in the USA.
Even though regular vaping is uncommon among United Kingdom teenagers, e-cigarettes may lead them to smoke traditional cigarrettes for the first time, research finds. But the studies suggesting that experimentation with e-cigarettes may act as a gateway to smoking in adolescents have been carried out in the US.
And occasional smokers at baseline were almost twice as likely to escalate their habit if they had tried e-cigarettes as were those who hadn't experimented with vaping (just over 24% compared with just under 13%). "What this suggests to us is that it might be those who are not normally at risk of smoking, by trying e-cigarettes, they're becoming exposed to others who smoke and through that, are normalized to smoking and go on to try cigarettes when they wouldn't normally have done so".
Since the research began, a new generation of vaping devices has come on to the market that more closely mimic cigarettes, the researchers pointed out.
Linda Bauld, a professor of health policy at the University of Stirling, said the latest study doesn't prove that using e-cigarettes causes people to become smokers. "It is important to enforce these measures effectively and remain vigilant by closely monitoring e-cigarette use in minors". At the outset, 61.5% had not tried e-cigarettes or cigarettes, 16.0% had tried e-cigarettes but not cigarettes, 4.4% had tried cigarettes but not e-cigarettes and 18.2% had used both.