According to a recent survey published in Preventive Medicine, teenagers who use e-cigarettes double their risk of developing the addiction to smoking tobacco cigarettes. The analysis led by the research team from the University of Waterloo and the Wake Forest School of Medicine looked at student of the secondary and post-secondary school and found that those who tried an e-cigarette were 2.16 times more likely to be susceptible to cigarette smoking.
The objective of the study was to examine whether susceptibility to cigarette smoking was considerably different between non-e-cigarette users and never smoking adolescents and youth who had ever used an e-cigarette.
Bruce Baskerville, co-author of the study and a researcher at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo, noted, “Since e-cigarettes came on the market there has been a debate about whether their use may lead to cigarette smoking,” and the answer was yes, at least for teenagers, he added.
The research team analyzed the data from the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, and they found that nearly 10% of students studying in grades 7 to 12 reported ever having used e-cigarettes.
While smoking tobacco, cigarettes produce harmful substances like tar or carbon monoxide along with nicotine, but e-cigarettes are devoid of such harmful carcinogens. It works through an inhalation-activated system that converts liquid nicotine into an inhalable aerosol, often known as vapour.
Baskerville said, “While preliminary evidence suggests that e-cigarettes contain fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes, our findings suggest that a potential increase in harmful cigarette use may follow as e-cigarette use continues to rise among adolescent populations.”
Baskerville concluded that the present study encourages restriction of e-cigarette access to minors, which had been reported to influence the risk of smoking commencement.
“More research is needed in Canada on additional contributing risk factors as well as longitudinal data to evaluate the complex relationship between e-cigarette use and tobacco cigarette use in adolescence,” he added.