Nov 21, 2018 | Updated: 03:14 AM EDT

E-cigarettes Lure the Young Into Tobacco Smoking: Study

Dec 16, 2014 08:18 PM EST

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With the publicity that e-cigarettes are the safer alternative for the more health hazardous tobacco products, more people resort to e-cigarettes (also referred to as e-cigs) and the younger generation have been drawn to the "cooler and hipper" e-cigarettes with their attractive packaging and fruity taste. However, a recent study found that e-cigarette smoking increased the likelihood among youngsters to smoke the nicotine-rich cigarette.

Researchers asked1,941 Hawaii secondary school students about their smoking practices and the dangers posed to them by smoking. Danger was evaluated based on elements like sensation-seeking and pervasiveness of smoking among companions, guardian support and academic contribution.

Around 17 per cent of the participants smoked e-cigarettes, 12 per cent smoked both e-cigarettes and routine cigarettes, three per cent just smoked customary cigarettes, and 68 per cent said they didn't smoke.

They discovered that those who smoked tobacco cigarettes or those who smoked both cigarettes and e-cigarettes fell in the highest risk category for pursuing the habit. E-cigarette users were at lower risk compared to the first two. More than two-thirds of all the students surveyed also said they thought the vaporizers were healthier than cigarettes.

"Our interpretation is that e-cigarettes may be operating to recruit relatively low-risk people to smoking," said Thomas Wills, Ph.D., interim co-director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. "Evidence is beginning to suggest that vaping actually increases interest in smoking, and that's kind of the smoking gun - no pun intended," Wills said.

Meaning, students may have a more positive view of smoking overall because of e-cigarettes.

Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) previous study on the use of e-cigarettes, teens who had used them were more than twice as likely to say they intended to try than those who had never smoked cigarettes.

The authors said, "The fact that only e-cigarette users were halfway in danger status between non-users and dual-users increase the likelihood that e-cigarettes are selecting medium-hazard teenagers, who overall would be less vulnerable to tobacco product use."

According to the CDC, more than 16 million minors live in states where it's perfectly legal for them to buy these contemporary cigarettes.

At present, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just allow use of e-cigarettes for remedial purposes. The organization has suggested a law that would provide it more administrative control over e-cigarettes that would seem to be like other tobacco items.

The study published in the Pediatrics journal.

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