The findings show vaping in teens may not be a deterrent from heavy smoking but actually a possible gateway to it.
The introduction of vaping is widely considered a better alternative than smoking regular cigarettes but a new study has found teenagers who use e-cigarettes are highly likely to turn to heavy tobacco products later on.
A study looked at just over 3,000 students in Los Angeles schools and found those that were using e-cigarettes in their sophomore years were more likely to develop a cigarette habit within the next six months compared to those who didn’t vape. While their wasn’t a high use of vaping or cigarettes amongst the teenagers, around 12 percent of those that were vaping regularly admitted to smoking a traditional cigarette each day.
The find backs up some experts worry that despite being produced as a form of smoking cessation, e-cigarettes are actually a gateway or introduction to smoking tobacco for many young people.
The study’s lead author, Adam Leventhal says this is the first research that suggests vaping is linked to heavy smoking patterns and cigarette use on a daily basis. He claims that the results are worrying and more needs to be done to monitor the way e-cigarettes are influencing the young.
“E-cigarettes do not prevent teens from advancing to smoking and may possibly do the opposite.”
While the research was conducted in Los Angeles, it can’t be a representational study for the habits of teenagers nationwide. However, it does shine a light on whether vaping is opening up to innocent experimental use of normal cigarettes or whether kids are getting hooked on tobacco. Either way, the researchers believe this should be factored in to future tobacco control policies.
Details of the report were published in the journal JAMA.