Based on the recent research, e-cigarettes will most likely encourage teens to smoke later in life. Even if the rates have been dropping off lately, the latest study has shown that teenagers who rely on e-cigarettes today, will light their first cigarette tomorrow.
According to Jessica Barrington, lead-author of the study and postdoctoral researcher, the historical data showed that most adult smokers started smoking when they were young. In other words, most people who make smoking a life-long ‘habit,’ become addicted before they are 18 years old.
Furthermore, many e-cig users were reported as turning to traditional cigarettes after a while. These results were based on a research made by a team of scientists from the University of Southern California. Around 300 high school juniors and seniors who had never smoked before were divided into two groups and observed for 16 months.
The only distinction between them was that the teens from one group were e-cigarettes users. At the end of the study, 40 percent of the e-cig users started to smoke traditional cigarettes, whereas only 10 percent of the teens from the non-smokers group started smoking.
According to Barrington, all of them were asked in the beginning whether they will ever start smoking cigarettes or not. Even if most of them expressed a firm commitment to no-smoking, e-cigs were established as being a bad influence on those teens.
Scientists established that there might be two possible reasons. The first one may be the fact that these teenagers are introduced to nicotine and secondly, the addiction itself. Smoking is not something to be regarded as a habit but as an addiction.
Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been so hard for most people to stop smoking. However, further research is needed in order to establish how many teenagers are just experimenting and how many become in fact regular smokers.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking has significantly dropped off among high-school students. Nevertheless, there is a high increase of smokers among those who vape. More precisely, one in four teenagers were vaping based on the data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System in 2015.
Moreover, the use of e-cigarettes has critically increased since 2011, as 1 in 20 teens in the United States is using these smoking devices, according to Youth Tobacco Survey sponsored by the CDC.