Increase in e-cigarette use, decrease in smoking, is encouraging, expert says
The increase in electronic cigarette use, coupled with a decrease in smoking, could be a positive sign for the prevention of cigarette use, said Lynn Kozlowski, University at Buffalo professor of community health and health behavior.
If there was an increase in e-cigarette use and an increase in cigarette use, that would be concerning, he said. But a trend is continuing here and that is the important development.
"What the research shows is that the young people using e-cigarettes now are people who are also at greater risk of doing other things we'd like them not to do – like drinking alcohol, using a hookah, smoking marijuana, and smoking cigarettes," he said. "So if these higher risk youth are showing a preference for e-cigarettes over cigarettes that could be very good for the prevention of cigarette smoking."
Given the deadliness of cigarettes, he said, it is important to be on the lookout for products that are a lot less hazardous and e-cigarettes are one of those products.
"There is evidence that e-cigarettes in general are dramatically less dangerous to health than cigarettes and no doubt that cigarettes are a major cause of premature death and disability," he said.