Young Vapers Three Times As Likely To Become Daily Cigarette Smokers Later In Life

In an online edition of Pediatrics, a new research revealed that the first time use and consumption of number of tobacco products at a young age increases the addiction risk.

A large nationally representative longitudinal study analysis by the University of California San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, reported that in 2014 young people age 12 to 24, who used e-cigarettes were three times as likely to become daily cigarette smokers in the future and among those  who had been using the tobacco products, daily use was subjected to increase with age through age 28.

Moreover, study revealed that the daily cigarette smoking nearly doubled between 18- to 21-year-olds (12%) and 25- to 28-year-old (21 %).

This is the first study that investigated the progression to dependent cigarette smoking among young adults. The study suggests from their data, that e-cigarettes are presumed a gateway for those who become daily cigarette smokers.

Over the time, to introduce an alternative, yet so-called “healthy alternative”, products have changed from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, but, unfortunately, the end product has stayed the same.  According to the study, among school seniors, use of e-cigarette, particularly, under the age of 18, increased from 38% in 2016 to 45% in 2019, in U.S.

In the study, researchers used data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, which was a longitudinal study of tobacco use, determining its potential effect on the health of U.S. citizens.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products undertook the PATH study and enrolled a nationally representative sample of people aged 12 to 24 years between in 2013 and 2014, followed by re-interviewing them annually for four years to explore progression to daily use among experimenters of 12 tobacco products.

It was found that in the 1st year, 45 % of participants reported using at least one tobacco product in their lifetime and by the 4th years, it was found that as participants aged, nearly 62% participants had reported some tobacco experimentation. Among those who have had some experiments with the tobacco use, 73% of them had tried cigarettes, whereas, 72 % had tried e-cigarettes.

Moreover, more over half of the participants of the study had tried using hookahs and cigarillos, including over 10 % participants using traditional cigars, filtered cigars, smokeless products, and pipes. The analysis further uncovered that in 4th year, 72% reported daily use of cigarettes and 63 % used cigarettes exclusively.

“What we’re seeing is that the proportion who are daily e-cigarette users did not increase with age whereas with cigarettes the number of users jumps up rapidly with age,” said to the first author, John P. Pierce, PhD, Professor Emeritus at Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

He added, “This rapid increase with age only occurred with cigarettes, not with any other tobacco products.”

The study concludes that less than 1 % of the study participants who experimented with just one tobacco product were found to progress to daily cigarette smoking.

Moreover, individuals who had tried using five or more products increased their risk of becoming daily cigarette smokers by 15 percentage points.

“Trying e-cigarettes and multiple other tobacco products before the age of 18 is also strongly associated with becoming daily cigarette smoking,” said senior author Karen Messer, PhD, professor at UC San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science and director of biostatics at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

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