Vaping Teens 6 Times More Likely To Try Regular Cigarettes Than Non-Users, Study Shows

(Photo : Getty Images/MOHD RASFAN) Vaping increases the likelihood of teens trying out regular cigarettes.

Older teens who have puffed an electronic cigarette at least once are six times more likely to later move on to regular cigarettes compared to those who have never tried vaping, a new study revealed.

In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, it was revealed that vaping increases the odds of teens taking up smoking within two years of their first experience using an e-cigarette, Reuters reported.

Vaping refers to the use of e-cigarettes, which are described as "handheld electronic devices that vaporize a fluid typically including nicotine and a flavor component."

"We're concerned that kids who experiment with e-cigarettes may be moving on to other types of tobacco products, like combustible cigarettes, which are arguably a lot more dangerous," said Jessica Barrington-Trimis, University of Southern California researcher and the study's lead author.

The study was based on the surveys the USC conducted in southern California which involved 300 high school students. The teens comprised of 11th and 12 grade students who were all at least 18 years old by the second survey.

In 2014, the survey revealed that around half of the 300 students have tried vaping.

A follow-up survey conducted the next year showed that 40 percent of the teens who had tried vaping by 2014 had tried regular cigarettes. Only 11 percent of new tobacco smokers said they have not tried e-cigarettes in the 2014 survey.

Another significant thing the researchers found was that the likelihood of moving from e-cigarettes to regular cigarettes was 10 times greater for those who said on the first survey that they had no intention of taking up smoking.

However, a Boston University School of Public Health professor said the findings of Barrington-Trimis' team was insufficient, explaining that the surveys did not indicate how many times the participants used e-cigarettes as they only asked if the teens had tried vaping at least once.

Dr. Michael Siegel, who is not connected to the survey and is a proponent of the use of e-cigarettes as a method of weaning smokers off regular cigarettes, told the publication, "What's probably happening is these kids did not become regular vapers, (and) they turned to smoking. If they turned into regular vapers, they wouldn’t have turned to smoking."

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put stricter restrictions on the sales of e-cigarettes and banned the sales to anyone under 18 years old.

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