While e-cigarette manufacturers would have you believe that their products wean smokers away from cigarettes, a new study by researchers at Dartmouth College found that, to the contrary, e-cigarettes act like a “gateway drug” leading teens to smoking. According to a report in the Daily Mail, researchers estimate that e-cigarettes could cost America 1.5 million years in life. A lead researcher on the study said two out of three e-cigarette users end up smoking real cigarettes. One in three users of e-cigarettes becomes a long-term smoker shaving an average of 10 years off their lifespan.
Widespread Use of E-Cigs
Dartmouth researchers extracted data from a variety of national surveys of health and tobacco use in order to calculate how many years of life are gained or lost from e-cigarette use. The estimates came from data on current smokers who used e-cigarettes to quit and people who had never smoked who switched to long-term use of traditional cigarettes after smoking e-cigarettes. Studies show that e-cigarette use is highest among adolescents and young adults who are then four times likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes than those who don’t vape.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that those under 18 are almost three times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults. In 2016, more than two million middle school students in the United States reported that they used e-cigarettes in past 30 days. A 2017 study found that nearly a quarter of adult cigarette smokers used e-cigarettes to try and quit. But, research has shown that a majority of those who used e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit did not actually quit and were still smoking traditional cigarettes.
Unsafe and Unhealthy
E-cigarettes have also been marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. But, thanks to a growing body of research, we now know that’s not true. A recent study found that e-cigs could release toxic chemicals as they heat up. Another study showed teens who use e-cigs are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco even when they did not use fluid containing nicotine.
Our product defect lawyers have been skeptical of e-cigs from day one. It is disgusting that manufacturers continue to market these products to children and teens even as a growing body of research shows that e-cigarettes could cause cancer and lung disease. We hope federal regulators take these issues into consideration and tightly regulate these products so they are not accessible to our youth.