For many, the health risks of smoking cigarettes are enough to make them swear off tobacco for good.
A new study, however, has found that e-cigarettes may be encouraging teenagers to smoke traditional cigarettes. The study also found that teens who smoked e-cigarettes were more likely to try other legal drugs like marijuana and alcohol.
This study provides some insight into the effects of nicotine addiction and how it can lead to a variety of other unhealthy habits.
What do you think? Do you believe this study is accurate?
What is an E-cigarette?
E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that use nicotine and flavorings to produce an aerosol that a user inhales.
How do e-cigarettes work? E-cigarettes use a lithium-ion battery to power an atomizer. This atomizer contains a liquid, or e-liquid, which contains nicotine and flavorings.
Nicotine is chemically addictive, and flavors like watermelon and cherry help make it more palatable to the user.
When a person puffs on an e-cigarette, the e-liquid is heated by the lithium-ion battery and vaporized into an aerosol that can be inhaled.
Why are E-Cigarettes a problem? A recent study found that e-cigarettes are increasingly popular among high school students in the United States.
The Health Risks
While the health risks of smoking cigarettes remain quite serious, researchers know that for many people, the urge to smoke can be very strong.
However, as a smoker ages, their addiction typically becomes worse. This is likely why researchers have always suspected that e-cigarettes would provide some benefit to those addicted to traditional cigarettes.
The study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Chicago appears to lend support to this theory.
A team of researchers observed a group of more than 300 predominantly low-income, predominantly black teenagers living in Chicago.
The teens, aged 16 to 18, had all tried a tobacco product at least once in the previous year.
A study by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined over 50,000 teens, aged 12-17, across the United States.
The study found that those who smoked tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and hookahs, were more likely to use other legal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and prescription opioids.
However, teens who used e-cigarettes were more likely to use marijuana, cocaine, prescription opioids, and other legal drugs. Why Did This Study Occur? A similar study conducted in 2016 found that almost 17 percent of high school seniors who smoked cigarettes also used e-cigarettes, a figure that rose to 24.7 percent among those who said they also smoked cigarettes.
What You Should Know
In 2015, more than 17 million Americans were smokers, and 44 percent of all high school seniors had tried a cigarette.
That’s a lot of teenagers who could potentially gain a variety of unhealthy habits as a result of this study. However, one of the researchers, Dr. Mark Rubinstein, admits the study isn’t totally convincing.
Rubinstein said: “It has a small sample size, and this may be just a momentary effect of their use,” stated one of the lead authors, Dr. Erin Van Blarigan.
The study is currently published online by the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
The research team analyzed data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey which included 7th, 8th, 9th, and 12th graders across the country.
Science News Reports. (2014, June 27). E-Cigarettes Fuel Adolescents’ Dependence on Tobacco, Study Shows. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140627144338.htm […] The survey is one of the first to directly measure the effects of these vapor devices on adolescent drug use. Based on a survey of 5,891 middle and high school students from 26 cities in the Midwest and East Coast, the researchers found that students who used e-cigarettes were more than three times more likely to report previous drug use than those who used traditional cigarettes. Study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.