Vaping ups likelihood of tobacco cigarette use in young adults

Use of electronic cigarettes significantly increases the likelihood of tobacco cigarette use among young adults, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Researchers examined a survey of U.S. adults, between the ages of 18 and 30 years. The adults were randomly selected in March 2013 to complete a questionnaire about their tobacco use. In October 2014, 915 participants — who had stated that they did not smoke at all when they completed the initial questionnaire — completed a follow-up survey.

The final, weighted survey results showed that 11.2 percent of the 951 participants had started smoking tobacco cigarettes. Of participants who said they had used e-cigarettes in the initial survey, 47.7 percent had started smoking cigarettes 18 months later, versus 10.2 percent of those who did not use e-cigarettes.

"Early evidence on the potential value of e-cigarettes for cessation or reduction of cigarette smoking has been mixed," said study lead author Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, director of University of Pittsburgh's Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health. "Our study finds that in nonsmokers, e-cigarettes make people more likely to start smoking. This supports policy and educational interventions designed to decrease the use of e-cigarettes among nonsmokers."

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