Up until now, e-cigarettes were considered a gateway towards quitting. However, new studies have shown that electronic cigarettes determine teenagers to start smoking. This new evidence makes the devices seem unreliable, stripping them of their “better and healthier option” status.
According to a new study that was published in the Pediatrics magazine, electronic cigarettes determine teenagers to start smoking combustible cigarettes.
The survey was conducted on a sample of 300 teens that were still attending high school. Jessica Barrington-Trimis, the lead author of the study, declared that the data showed an alarming tendency of picking up the habit within a year of smoking or trying out e-cigarettes.
For their study, the team lead by the postdoctoral researcher surveyed teenagers enrolled in the 11th and 12th grades with an average age of 17. The participants were asked about the use of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, pipes, hookahs, and cigars.
During the first interview, 146 volunteers declared that they tried an e-cigarette at least once. The other 152 were never tempted by the electronic cigarettes. None of the respondents smoked combustible cigarettes at the time.
After 16 months, the researchers came back and analyzed the smoking habits of the same 300 high-schoolers that were interviewed. It seems that in between interviews, 40 percent of those who admitted using e-cigarettes were now addicted to combustible cigarettes.
The team concluded that the teenagers who grew accustomed with electronic cigarettes were more than six times more likely to switch to combustible cigarettes than those who did not vape at all.
Barrington-Trimis stated that the “increase in e-cigarettes use which may be followed by increases in cigarette use, could result in an erosion of the progress that has been made over the last several decades in tobacco control.”
The assumption that e-cigarettes are a gateway to combustible cigarettes use is not new. Scientists have been juggling with this idea for a couple of years. They even proposed that the CDC and FDA ban the sale of the devices to minors.
According to Barrington-Trimis’ survey, 11 percent out of the total surveyed high-schoolers confessed to having smoked a cigarette in the month leading to the study. By comparison, 24 percent admitted to using electronic cigarettes.
Now that you know that electronic cigarettes determine teenagers to start smoking, do you agree with the FDA’s decision to ban the sale of all such devices to underage children? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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