For teens, vaping today may lead to smoking tomorrow

December 4, 2017 by Serena Gordon, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)— The e-cigarette may not be just a "healthier alternative" to smoking for teens. New research shows that teens who vape may be more apt to use tobacco cigarettes later on.

When teens smoked an during one month, they were up to seven times more likely to smoke tobacco in the future, researchers found.

"Youth using e-cigarettes were consistently more likely to smoke," said study author Krysten Bold, an associate research scientist at Yale School of Medicine's department of psychiatry.

But, she also noted, "We cannot determine cause and effect from these kinds of reports. There can be many reasons kids decide to smoke."

Approximately 3 million U.S. teens currently use e-cigarettes, the researchers said.

"E-cigarettes are commonly used by youth, and have many features that are appealing to kids," Bold explained.

The study included more than 800 from three public schools in Connecticut. The students completed surveys at three different times: 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The average age of the teens at the beginning of the study was 15. There were 428 girls and the group was nearly 90 percent white.

In 2013, nearly 9 percent of the students had used an e-cigarette in the past month, while almost 5 percent had smoked a cigarette. By 2014, those numbers were 12 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. In 2015, 14.5 percent of teens in the study had used an e-cig during the previous month, and 8.5 percent had smoked a tobacco cigarette, the survey revealed.

Between 2013 and 2014, the use of an e-cigarette during the past month was tied to a more than seven times risk of smoking a tobacco cigarette in the future. From 2014 to 2015, using an e-cigarette boosted the risk of having a real cigarette by four times, the findings showed.

The researchers also looked at the reverse relationship—whether kids who smoked were more likely to try e-cigarettes in the future. But they found no statistically significant relationship.

The findings "highlight that we really need to talk to kids about e-cigarettes and their potential consequences," Bold said. She added that more research is needed into possible long-term effects.

Kenneth Warner, a professor emeritus of public health at the University of Michigan, said, "This study shows an increased probability of trying a cigarette if they've tried a vape, but I don't believe they establish a causal relationship."

Warner also pointed out that the results don't quite mesh with findings from national studies that show the use of tobacco cigarettes has gone down for the past five years, and the use of e-cigarettes dropped in youth nationally in 2016.

"We're doing incredibly well on youth smoking. It's dropped by half in five years, so something right is occurring," he said.

And, Warner noted, "Vaping may prove to be a very short-lived fad, and it seems the latest data is showing that. If the numbers continue to fall, it may end looking like much ado about nothing."

He pointed to the use of hookahs—a water pipe device used to smoke —as an example of this occurring in the past. Use of those devices spiked in 2014 and then quickly fell back to previous levels.

The new study was published online Dec. 4 in the journal Pediatrics.

Explore further: E-cigarettes are more likely to be used by alcohol drinkers and former cigarette smokers

More information: Krysten Bold, Ph.D., associate research scientist, Yale School of Medicine, department of psychiatry, New Haven, Conn.; Kenneth Warner, Ph.D., professor emeritus, public health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Dec. 4, 2017, Pediatrics, online

Get advice on talking to your kids about not smoking from the American Lung Association.

Related Stories

E-cigarettes are more likely to be used by alcohol drinkers and former cigarette smokers

November 14, 2017
Electronic cigarettes are more frequently used by people who recently quit smoking and alcohol drinkers, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier ...

Cigarette smokers are 10 times more likely to be daily marijuana users

November 30, 2017
Daily marijuana use has been on the rise over the past decade. Now, a new study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, City University ...

E-cigarettes lead to 'real' smoking by teens: review

June 28, 2017
(HealthDay)—Teens and young adults who use electronic cigarettes—also known as vaping—are almost four times as likely as their non-vaping counterparts to begin smoking traditional cigarettes, a new review suggests.

Vaping doubles risk of smoking cigarettes for teens

September 18, 2017
Teenagers who try e-cigarettes double their risk for smoking tobacco cigarettes, according to a new study.

Regular smoking in young people at record low

November 6, 2017
The proportion of young people smoking in England regularly is the lowest on record, according to new figures .

Flavored e-cigarettes may entice teens to smoke: study

November 7, 2016
(HealthDay)—Fruit- or candy-flavored electronic cigarettes may entice American teens to start smoking tobacco, a new study suggests.

Recommended for you

Common antidepressants in pregnancy may alter fetal brain development

April 10, 2018
(HealthDay)—Pregnant women who take certain antidepressants may unknowingly compromise the brain development of their child, researchers suggest.

Kids in tough neighborhoods head to ER more often

April 6, 2018
(HealthDay)—Growing up in a disadvantaged neighborhood may mean more visits to the emergency room, a new study suggests.

Infant death study reveals dangerous sleep practices among babysitters, relatives, others

April 2, 2018
Babies who died during their sleep while being watched by someone other than parents often had been placed in unsafe sleep positions, such as on their stomachs, or in unsafe locations, such as a couch, a new study has found.

Reading with your toddler boosts more than just language skills

March 27, 2018
(HealthDay)—All those hours spent reading bedtime stories may pay off for you and your little ones beyond language and brain development: New research suggests it's also good for social and behavioral skills.

Children with autism and their younger siblings less likely to be fully vaccinated

March 26, 2018
Children with autism and their younger siblings are significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated than the general population, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published today in JAMA Pediatrics.

Hoverboard injuries speeding U.S. kids to the ER

March 26, 2018
(HealthDay)—Hoverboards may look cool, flashy and fun, but they're less safe than you might think.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BendBob
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2017
Teens that exercise hard may sweat and drink several glasses of cold water.

Teens that drank cold water after hard exercise, have boosted the risk they may drink cold beer.

Ban hard exercise, as it may lead to beer drinking.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.