Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Teens Who Vape More Likely to Try Regular Cigarettes, Study Finds

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Teens Who Vape More Likely to Try Regular Cigarettes, Study Finds

Article excerpt

Teenagers who use electronic cigarettes are six times more likely to try regular cigarettes within two years than those who have never tried electronic cigarettes, according to new research published Monday.

E-cigarettes, which vaporize a flavored fluid that typically includes nicotine, are advertised as a way for smokers to wean themselves off regular cigarettes. However, "kids who experiment with e-cigarettes may be moving on to other types of tobacco products, like combustible cigarettes, which are arguably a lot more dangerous," University of Southern California researcher Jessica Barrington-Trimis, lead author of the study, told Reuters.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that out of 300 southern California high school students surveyed in 2014, approximately half reported having tried an e-cigarette at least once. In a 2015 follow-up survey, approximately 40 percent of students who had reported trying an e-cigarette the previous year had tried regular cigarettes, compared to only 11 percent of those who had not tried vaping.

After adjusting the statistics for factors such as gender, ethnicity, grade, and parental education, the researchers concluded that the teens who tried vaping were six times more likely to take up smoking than their non-vaping counterparts.

Despite the strong correlation, the study does not necessarily prove that vaping causes teens to take up regular cigarette use, some experts note, since the survey did not determine how many times the teens had vaped prior to trying cigarettes.

"What's probably happening is these kids did not become regular vapers, (and) they turned to smoking," Michael Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health and a proponent of e-cigarettes as a way to reduce combustible cigarette use, told Reuters. …

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