Is the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes promoting smoking amongst teens in US?
All the answers you need to know about the e-cigarettes fear which has recently come to surface since a study was published.
A recent study published in the Pediatrics journal has found a correlation between combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes. According to the research paper titled ‘Psychosocial Factors Associated With Adolescent Electronic Cigarette and Cigarette Use’ teens who tend to use e-cigarettes are more prone to tobacco smoking.
The leading author of the study Jessica Barrington-Trimis a PhD doctor and a professor at the University of Southern California in the Department of Preventive Medicine, suggests e-cigarettes may serve as a gateway to traditional tobacco smoking.
The study surveyed more than 2100 high school students in California for their smoking habits in May 2014. More than a quarter of the high school junior and senior students in Southern California had used the e-cigarettes at one time or another.
According to the study e-cigarettes are recruiting more tobacco users as 1 percent of e-cigarette users are now regular tobacco smokers among teens. Even though more teenagers are using the e-cigarettes than the traditional cigarettes the habit of smoking may have been introduced into teens who may not have smoked at all before.
10 percent of kids in California are using thee-cigarettes currently. 2 in every 5 teen who had never smoked a normal cigarette before is currently using an e-cigarette. On the other hand 1 in 5 teens have smoked a traditional cigarette at least once in their lives.
Historically right now America has the lowest rate of teens smoking, especially California where adolescent smoking has been the lowest in the country so far. Therefore the results of such studies are troubling for public health officials and raise the question whether the increasing influence of e-cigarettes will undo the decline of tobacco smoking among teens in US?
9.6 percent teens in Southern California are currently using e-cigarettes or had ‘Vaped’, while 5.7 percent are traditional tobacco smokers. Out of the 24 percent who had ever tried an e-cigarette, they were likely to make up 1 percent of the 18.7 percent of teens who currently smoke the traditional tobacco cigarettes. However more than 40.5 percent of e-cigarette smokers who were teens had never even tried a tobacco cigarette.
The president of the American Vaping Association Gregory Conley, which is an industry-funded non-profit consumer vaping advocacy group, has pointed out the flaws in the study and has stated the absence of any distinguishing system to establish whether the teens were simply experimenting or were regular users of both the e-cigarette or the tobacco cigarette.
Currently e-cigarettes are considered as a safer alternative to smoking, as individuals can receive their nicotine in a safer way and also provides a way for smokers to break their habits. A professor of public health Michael Siegel, MD, at the Boston University School of Public Health stated the current evidence indicates e-cigarette is a product designed to take individuals away from tobacco smoking not towards it.
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Since e-cigarette were introduced into the US market in only 2007 there has not been enough time to study whether it is creating an environment where smoking is socially accepted. Studies based on long term effects of e-cigarettes are necessary to determine whether the practice is beneficiary or harmful to the youth in the US.