Washington: A new research has revealed that e-cigarettes expose rising number of non-smoking teens to nicotine use.
Researchers at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and University of Hawaii Cancer Center find that one-third of Hawaiian adolescents have tried e-cigarettes, half of whom have never used another tobacco product.
Researcher James D. Sargent said that this is a markedly different pattern of use compared to their peers in the continental U.S., where teen e-cigarette use is less than half that rate and e-cigarette users are mainly also cigarette smokers (dual-users).
Sargent added that the concern is that e-cigarette advertising is recruiting intermediate risk adolescents to nicotine use, in other words, kids who would not otherwise have started smoking and these are kids who might go on to smoke cigarettes, which are much better at delivering nicotine than e-cigarettes.
Sargent explained that if this pattern of use is adopted by adolescents in the continental U.S., they could be in for an epidemic of teen tobacco use in this country that could greatly reduce the overall benefits to public health of e-cigarettes.
The investigators assessed risk status for three groups (non-users, e-cigarette-only users, and dual-users) on variables that predict future use of cigarettes, and found the e-cigarette-only users to have risk that was in between the never-smokers and dual-users.
Researchers from Dartmouth and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center collaborated in the 2013 survey-based study of 1,941 adolescents aged 14-15 years old in public and private schools in Hawaii. Statistical analysis examined risk and protective variables across a spectrum of use, comparing never-smokers with e-cigarette-only users and e-cigarette-only users with dual-users.
Risk factors for smoking cigarettes include protective variables such as parental support and academic involvement, in addition to risk factors including peer smoking and sensation seeking. On almost all of those measures, e-cigarette users ranked somewhere between the never-smokers and the dual-users.
The study is published in the journal Pediatrics.