New research shows that instead of being a safe alternative to smoking, vaping or e-cigarette use may actually be an enticing gateway to cigarettes for some teens. According to a HealthDay news report, researchers found that among teens who said they had no intention to ever smoke, those who vaped were more than four times more likely to eventually try cigarettes. That, experts said, suggests that e-cigarettes can predispose kids to tobacco use, possibly by fueling a craving for nicotine.
What the Study Shows
The study was published online Nov. 9 in Pediatrics. It included more than 8,660 U.S. adolescents ages 12 to 17 who were surveyed between 2014 and 2016. Initially, just under 13% said they intended to start smoking, and 8.5% had ever used e-cigarettes. By, the next survey, researchers found that the same teens who were vaping were more likely to have tried cigarettes.
Among teens who said they had no intention of smoking traditional cigarettes, almost 10% went on to try cigarettes. Experts say the study suggests that young people are essentially graduating to cigarettes. One of the alarming findings of this study is that even teens who had no intention of smoking tobacco cigarettes ended up doing so after a year or two of using e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that work by heating up a liquid containing nicotine and other substances. The heat creates a vapor that users inhale. However, not much is known about the long-term consequences of e-cigarette vapor. There have been a number of studies already, which have shown that vaping can cause lung damage and a host of other health problems. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2018, almost 21% of U.S. high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past year.
The Negative Effects of Vaping
There is no question that the good work of anti-tobacco advocates and public health officials has taken several steps backward as a result of the vaping epidemic. If you or a loved one has suffered lung injuries that are vaping or e-cigarette related, you may be able to hold the manufacturer, retailer or other parties liable for damages such as medical expenses, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering.
As product defect attorneys, we find it deeply disturbing that these products continue to be promoted on social media where children and young adults are exposed to them. Instead of warning the public about these dangerous products, the industry is promoting them as safe substitutes for tobacco cigarettes. This is unacceptable, not to mention, unethical. Corporations that put profits before public health should be held accountable.