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Kids Health

Children Who Use E-Cigarettes Tend to be Tobacco Smokers Later  

E-cigarettes are often presented as non-harmful versions of conventional cigarettes which is one of the reasons that they are popular among teenagers. But the new study has highlighted the risk that children who use e-cigarettes turn out to be daily smokers in later years. Using e-cigarettes increase this risk three times as compared to children who didn’t use an e-cigarette and turned out to be smokers later.

This longitudinal study was conducted by the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health at the University of California (SD). It reports that using tobacco-based products in earlier years of life, such as e-cigarettes increases the risk to become a daily smoker later.

This study is published in the journal Pediatrics, online edition.

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In 2014, the data obtained from 12 years olds to 24 years old using e-cigarettes suggested that they were most likely to smoke daily in the near future. This usage continues to increase with age.

This is the first-ever study that has actually studied the progression of smoking habits from childhood to adult age. This data is helpful to predict who is likely to be a smoker after some years. Smoking is linked with a number of health problems but most smokers start with cigarettes. It is only a few years that e-cigarettes have been launched and popularized among children. No matter how it starts, the end results are the same for cigarette users and e-cigarette users. Once the body starts developing nicotine addiction, the chances to become a high nicotine cigarette smoker gets high.

The data analyzed in this study was taken from a study “Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH)” which was another longitudinal study based on the US population, identifying the risks attached with using tobacco cigarettes and the problems associated with them. This PATH study was a project under the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in collaboration with the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (Westat contract). The samples were taken from young children of 12 years age to 24 years. And this study was initiated in 2013-2014, which all of these participants were re-interviewed every year for four years to see how the habits of using tobacco-based products have developed.

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In the first follow-up year, nearly 45% of the participants of this study confirmed using any one tobacco product. But till the fourth year of follow-up, the participants, who grew older reported a high increase in their tobacco consumption. Nearly 62% of participants confirmed using different tobacco products. Among these people, 73% admitted using cigarettes and others tried an e-cigarette. Nearly half of these people also tried using cigarillos and another tobacco product called Hookah. Some of them reported using various other regional tobacco products as well.

Till fourth year, 12% participants confirmed using a tobacco product every day and nearly 50% of them started doing it after first follow up. 70% of these daily tobacco users were smoking traditional cigarettes. Others, who continued using vape didn’t show a daily use, but still possessed a high health risk.

The use of e-cigarette among children especially highs school students is high and most of them are below 18 years of age. This current study reveals that the rapid increase in using this trend is not healthy and it will make them smokers after a few years.

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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