A new study shows that California teens think electronic cigarettes are generally less harmful than traditional cigarettes - here's why they're wrong.
Research has shown that teenagers are much more likely to indulge in electronic cigarettes if their family and friends take an accepting viewpoint, new research suggests. According to a Reuters report, e-cigarettes were first introduced in China in 2004, and have taken the U.S. by storm in recent years.
According to the new study’s lead author, Jessica Barrington-Trimis of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the public health community is growing increasingly concerned about e-cigarettes and their use. They fear that the new method of delivering nicotine will convince an entire group of otherwise non-smokers to pick up the habit.
Prior research shows links between people who smoke real cigarettes and people who use electronic “vapor” cigarettes, but the new study identifies teens who begin using e-cigs on their own as a unique group.
Pulling from data collected in 2014 from about 2,000 Southern California teenagers, the researchers discovered that nearly a quarter of the teens reported using electronic cigarettes, while just 20 percent of teens had used a traditional cigarette. 10 percent of the teens had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, compared to six percent who smoked a traditional cigarette in that time frame.
According to survey results, teenagers were more likely to use an e-cigarette if they were used at home or by friends, who viewed the product positively.
The study suggests that teenagers tend to find e-cigarettes less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Research is still spotty on the actual health risks of vaping, but doctors agree that it does not come without dangers.
Despite the argument that vapor is less harmful than smoke, nicotine, which is still present in the vapor of electronic cigarettes, has been shown to alter the developing brains of teenagers.