Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Treat e-cigs like tobacco

A new study by researchers at the University of Southern California finds that adolescents who use electronic cigarettes are six times more likely than their peers to smoke tobacco later.

Promoters of electronic cigarettes have tried to minimize their regulation by contending that the devices primarily are an aid to help people stop smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Many people do indeed use the devices to satisfy their nicotine addiction without ingesting the remainder of the carcinogenic chemical mix in tobacco.

But that is only one part of the market. The industry, much like the tobacco industry itself, markets to young people who never have smoked. New research, demonstrating that teenagers who “vape” are more likely than their nonvaping peers to smoke tobacco later, demonstrates that e-cigarettes should be regulated much like tobacco.

The study, by researchers from the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California, was published recently in the journal Pediatrics. It found that 40.4 percent of adolescents who reported that they had vaped in 11th and 12th grades went on to smoke tobacco cigarettes, as opposed to 10.4 percent of their peers who had not used e-cigarettes. The researchers adjusted for a variety of factors relative to smoking, and found that young vapers overall were 6.17 times more likely than their peer group nonvapers to smoke cigarettes later.

Most important, the researchers said that vaping was a contributing factor to later tobacco use, not simply a way station for younger users who would have started smoking tobacco later in any case, when they were old enough to legally do so.

The findings call for the state and federal government to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco cigarettes for the purpose of public health policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>