By Randy Dotinga
MONDAY, June 13, 2016 (HealthDay Information) — Teenagers in the USA who use digital cigarettes are six occasions extra more likely to transfer on to conventional cigarettes in comparison with children who by no means use the units, a brand new examine experiences.
A survey of about 300 highschool college students discovered a troubling sample, though some consultants disagree with the conclusions.
“Adolescents who had by no means smoked, however who had used e-cigarettes, had been considerably extra more likely to start smoking flamable cigarettes over the subsequent yr,” mentioned examine lead creator Jessica Barrington-Trimis. She is a postdoctoral researcher with the College of Southern California’s Tobacco Middle of Regulatory Science.
“The rise in e-cigarette use, which can be adopted by will increase in cigarette use, might end in an erosion of the progress that has been made over the past a number of a long time in tobacco management,” Barrington-Trimis mentioned.
Lately, scientists have debated whether or not e-cigarettes assist people who smoke give up, or act as a gateway to tobacco smoking. Due to these considerations, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration is banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors beginning mid-summer.
Based on new survey outcomes from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, final yr simply 11 p.c of highschool college students mentioned they’d smoked cigarettes within the earlier 30 days — a major decline because the 1990s. Nonetheless, 24 p.c mentioned they’d used vape merchandise, corresponding to digital cigarettes, inside the final month.
E-cigarettes are digital units that vaporize a fluid that usually consists of nicotine and flavorings.
For the brand new examine, researchers surveyed 11th and 12th graders, common age 17, about use of e-cigarettes, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and hookahs. Of these, 146 used e-cigarettes and 152 had by no means tried them. None had smoked cigarettes.
However 16 months later, the researchers discovered that 40 p.c of e-cigarette customers had begun smoking conventional cigarettes. This in comparison with 11 p.c of those that’d by no means “vaped” — the time period for utilizing digital cigarettes. The examine authors decided the vapers had been simply over six occasions extra more likely to have tried smoking in comparison with teenagers who weren’t utilizing e-cigarettes.
The distinction held even after the investigators adjusted their statistics for elements corresponding to gender, mother and father’ schooling degree (which hints at household earnings) and ethnicity.
“We won’t definitively conclude the e-cigarettes trigger children to smoke cigarettes,” Barrington-Trimis mentioned. Nonetheless, “those that had used e-cigarettes at baseline had been considerably extra more likely to start smoking cigarettes.”
The truth that many who tried common cigarettes had vowed not to take action in the beginning of the examine urged that e-cigarette use wasn’t merely an indicator of children who would have smoked anyway, the researchers mentioned.
E-cigarette customers had been additionally extra more likely to attempt hookahs, pipes or cigars, the survey discovered.
The examine outcomes drew combined critiques.
Peter Hajek, director of tobacco analysis with the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Drugs at Queen Mary, College of London, criticized the work.
“The authors misread their findings,” Hajek mentioned. “Like a number of earlier research of this sort, this one simply reveals that individuals who attempt issues, attempt issues.”
Different analysis reveals that total smoking by adolescents is declining whilst e-cigarette use rises, Hajek mentioned.
“The truth is, the decline in youth smoking over the previous few years has been quicker than ever earlier than. This doesn’t essentially imply that e-cigarette experimentation prevents the uptake of smoking, though that is attainable,” he added. “However there may be clear and robust proof that such experimentation doesn’t contribute to smoking uptake.”
Barrington-Trimis questioned this competition, saying it is not confirmed by analysis.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Affiliation, mentioned there’s nothing new or “notably useful” about exhibiting that some younger adults attempt e-cigarettes after which experiment with smoking.
“The underside line is that as extra teenagers have experimented with vapor merchandise, youth smoking has skilled huge and unprecedented declines that nobody predicted simply 5 years in the past,” Conley mentioned.
Nonetheless, the examine elicited reward from Thomas Wills, interim director of the Most cancers Prevention and Management Program with the College of Hawaii Most cancers Middle. It “provides a variety of help” to the concept e-cigarettes may cause cigarette smoking, Wills mentioned.
“Some individuals have beforehand urged that since e-cigarettes can be found, this may stop youngsters from smoking,” Wills mentioned. This examine and others debunk that concept, he added.
The examine was printed on-line June 13 within the journal Pediatrics.
To find out about new laws of e-cigarettes, see the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration.