Health experts might be worried to hear that e-cigarettes are not necessarily beneficial for the most vulnerable category – teenagers.
While so far studies have indicated that electronic cigarettes have a positive impact on people who don’t want to smoke anymore, a new study carried out by researchers from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine shows that teenagers who used to vape are more likely to start smoking.
Even if there is no indication that the electronic cigarettes functions as a trigger for the addiction to nicotine later in life, other health experts say it is worrying that a device that is supposed to protect people and prevent them from taking up the habit might lead to it.
The study, which was published in the prestigious journal Pediatrics on the 26th of July looked at the data collected from a survey that was part of the Southern California Children’s Health Study. This involved the responses of more than 2,000 teenagers, mostly 11th and 12th graders between January and June, 2014.
The young people were asked questions related to their use of traditional cigarettes and/or e-cigarettes and whether their friends or colleagues approved of e-cigarettes. Most of them believed that e-cigarettes are not completely harmless to their health.
What was more interesting was that 33 percent of those who had used e-cigarettes also said they tried traditional cigarettes, compared to a mere 1 percent of respondents who never vaped but smoked tobacco. The vapers also said that their peers tended to approve of e-cigarettes.
This means that the adolescents who liked to use e-cigarettes faced a greater risk of becoming smokers.
“Data suggest that e-cigarettes may be recruiting new tobacco product users who might not have used cigarettes,” said Jessica Barrington-Trimis, the lead author of the study, who is also a professor at the Southern University of California’s Department of Preventive Medicine.
This also raises concern regarding the fact that electronic cigarettes might open the gates to a new group of traditional cigarettes smokers.
The general recommendation from health experts is that parents keep an eye on their children, especially if they start smoking e-cigarettes.
This study proves that more research needs to be carried out to see if these products are safe and suited for teenagers and to people in general.
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