Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Are teen e-cigarette users more likely to smoke in the future?

Are teen e-cigarette users more likely to smoke in the future?

When the teens were asked once again about their use of tobacco, the responses were telling.

Be aware that this study does not provide proof of causality.

The graphic warning images must be placed on packets of e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco, too.

Some teens who use e-cigarettes and other non-cigarette tobacco products report smoking cigarettes one year later, according to recent research funded by institutes within the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.

The study is believed to be the first to analyze all non-cigarette tobacco products.

Previous studies have also found evidence that e-cigarettes and other non-cigarette tobacco products are a gateway to conventional cigarette smoking in teens.

The newly reported analysis of the PATH data was unique because of its large size and the inclusion of both e-cigarette and non-e-cigarette tobacco products in the assessment of smoking risk.

"These products have different properties, but in terms of predicting future smoking among kids, the risk seems to be the same", Chaffee said by email.

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None of the participants had ever smoked traditional cigarettes prior to the start of the study. Mean age was 14.3; about half were female and half were white.

"Youths who had tried more than one type of tobacco product at baseline had 3.81 greater adjusted odds of past 30-day cigarette smoking at follow-up than did baseline never-tobacco users".

Teens who used more than one tobacco product were even more likely to start smoking conventional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes and vaporizers are commonly marketed as products that have fewer health effects than using tobacco, and as a way to wean users off cigarettes.

And they say policy experts may need to more aggressively try to stop teens from using products like e-cigarettes in the first place.

In 2016, the FDA banned the sale of e-cigarettes and other such products to anyone younger than 18. That's because any tobacco use is harmful to the body, and the new study now draws a clear link to future cigarette smoking. That's important because cigarette smoking rates have gone down in teens, which could be seen as a win by health advocates.

"They can communicate to their children that they disapprove of all tobacco products because all of them carry significant risk for getting addicted and perhaps suffering adverse health consequences", Wills said by email.

"As role models for public health in San Antonio, we're excited to improve the tobacco-free status and resources of UT Health San Antonio to help our faculty, staff, students, and visitors have the healthiest lives possible", Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez said.

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