Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday October 5, 2018
Teenagers who use e-cigarettes more likely to start smoking, study finds
Teens who use electronic cigarettes are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes – and they are likely to use both products more often over time, a new study found.
The Rand Corporation study looked at more than 2,000 youths in California, starting when they were teenagers and continuing until they were young adults.
The researchers found that youth who reported vaping were more likely to also report smoking cigarettes.
When they were surveyed around age 17, more of the teens said they used e-cigarettes in the last month – 8% – than regular cigarettes, at 6%. By around age 19, 9% of the young adults surveyed were using e-cigarettes, but cigarette smoking had jumped to 12%.
“Not only are adolescents who start vaping more likely to start smoking in the future, but they’re also likely to go on and use e-cigarettes and cigarettes more frequently,” said Michael Dunbar, the study’s lead author and a behavioral scientist at Rand.
“Our work provides more evidence that young people who use e-cigarettes progress to smoking cigarettes in the future,” he said. “This study also suggests that teens don’t substitute vaping products for cigarettes. Instead, they go on to use both products more frequently as they get older.”
It’s the latest research to suggest a link for young people between electronic cigarettes and smoking the more dangerous, traditional tobacco-based variety.
For adults who already smoke, e-cigarettes have been promoted as a safer to help them quit. (Continued: The Guardian)