Health

New study finds link between vaping and tobacco cigarettes

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Young people who smoke electronic-cigarettes are more likely to become tobacco smokers within a year, according to a new study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.
 
Previous studies have found that teens who smoke e-cigarettes go on to smoke tobacco cigarettes  at high rates but none, until now, have determined a direct connection or reasons why that may happen.

The trend for young people to graduate to tobacco cigarettes is boosted by several factors, according to the study. Those include getting used to nicotine in smaller doses and the ease in accessing e-cigarettes.

The study comes as the FDA is considering how to regulate e-cigarettes and while the California legislature also considers a slew of tobacco related bills, including one that would regulate e-cigarettes in the same way tobacco products are regulated.

This new study was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

“E-cigarettes are not subject to many laws that regulate traditional cigarettes, such as age limits on sales, taxation and labeling requirements. They also come in youth-oriented flavorings that laws have limited in traditional cigarettes, such as apple bubble gum and chocolate candy cane,” said Brian Primack, lead author of the study and director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health.

Researchers say the main factors driving the trend are:

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 700 youth, ages 16 to 26, surveyed in 2012 and 2013.  By the second survey 38 percent of the e-cigarette users had begun smoking tobacco cigarettes. Of those who didn't vape only 10 percent had begun smoking tobacco cigarettes.