A new study, which had nearly 2,100 high school students of California as participants, has found that one-fourth of them have vaped i.e. tried e-cigarettes at some point in their lives. The researchers also found that 10% of the studied teens are currently using electronic cigarettes.
That’s not all; the chances of taking up real smoking were found to be more among teens who tried e-cigarettes.
The study revealed that as much as a third of the e-cigarette users also tried tobacco cigarettes. The number was strikingly more when compared to the percentage among kids who never vaped. Just 1% of kids who never tried vaping smoked tobacco cigarettes. However, the researchers have made it clear that these findings don’t prove that electronic cigarette is a gateway to tobacco smoking.
According to the Jessica Barrington-Trimis, the leader of the study, there’s a strong possibility that e-cigs are promoting a tobacco-friendly culture among the teens. Barrington-Trimis is a representative of the University of Southern California.
Another significant revelation made by the study is that the majority of the kids using e-cigarettes has family members or friends who vape. What’s more alarming is that 50% of the studied individuals believe that such products are harmless.
The study, which was published online in the widely read journal Pediatrics on July 27, follows a federal report revealing the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes.
According to that report, between the years 2011 and 2014, use of e-cigs has tripped among high school and middle school students in the United States. However, the report suggests that there has been a decline in tobacco cigarette smoking during the same period. It says that a large number of kids using e-cigs have never tried tobacco smoking.
The same conclusion has also been drawn by the new study published in Pediatrics. While it’s true that several e-cig users have smoked, around 40% individuals using the device currently said that they have never tried traditional smoking.
The director of Harvard School of Public Health’s Center for Global Tobacco Control Vaughan Rees said that the pattern suggested by the new study is pretty disturbing. This is because according to him, the facts and fugues put up by the study suggest that some teens who would otherwise never smoke are getting exposed to nicotine. Rees said that these findings stood as the testimony of the failure of the tobacco control measures in preventing adolescents from experimenting with electronic cigarettes.