Many people can’t go cold turkey when trying to quit smoking and instead resort to e-cigarettes which can deliver nicotine into the system without damaging the lungs. That’s all well and good for those avid smokers who want a safer way of getting a quick nicotine fix. But what about the youngsters?
According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, young people who start smoking e-cigarettes from an early age have a higher chance of becoming regular smokers. The study monitored a group of 18- to 30-year-old non-smokers in March 2013 and then picked up 18 months later.
The 915 participants who took both surveys, with only 16 having previously tried smoking e-cigarettes. Six of those later became full-fledged smokers. 80 participants of the remaining 899 took up smoking 18 months later.
Researchers revealed that 47.7 percent of those who started using e-cigarettes went on to try smoking, as opposed to 10.2 percent of those who did not indulge in the smoking substitute.
„There have been a lot of studies and in short, they make us concerned that people who experiment with e-cigarettes… we do believe that that experience puts them at a higher risk of later transitioning,” said Dr. Brian Primack, lead author of the study and a directors of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.
According to Dr. Primach, one of the key factors which set aside the results of the study were sensation-seeking behavior and rebelliousness. While rebellion was taken into account, it did not pose any significance when associating e-cigarette smoking to regular smoking.
This observation was made as a response from Bill Godshall, executive director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, who criticised the study by saying it is nothing more than a „witch hunts”. In Godshall’s opinion, e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking only if the person’s regular use of e-cigarettes must cause later cigarette smoking and not merely precede it. Dr. Primack addressed Godshall’s criticism by pointing out he wanted to isolate causation by taking into account other variables such as the ones described above.
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