Regular vaping habit developed by teens may result to heavy smoking later: Study

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Nov 12, 2016 01:15 AM EST

There have already been a number of alternative ways to help those people who want to quit smoking, one of which is vaping. According to a study in the United States, adolescents with a regular vaping habit may be at risk of developing a heavy cigarette habit in the future.

In 2015, thousands of people have been getting rid of traditional cigarette in favor of e-cigars. The use of e-cigarettes has been considered a useful alternative to cigarette smoking. It has also been mentioned in some studies that it can curb traditional smoking.

However, some experts are still worried if the use of e-cigarettes can really influence cigarette smoking cessation or can become an entry point into the habit, especially for adolescents.

According to Tech Times, a report in June showed that teens who vape are more likely to resort to cigarette smoking within two years.

"We're concerned that kids who experiment with e-cigarettes may be moving onto other types of tobacco products," said Jessica Barrington-Trimis, a researcher from the University of Southern California.

For the new study, researchers studied data on 3,084 students at 10 Los Angeles high schools who participated in two surveys, one in the fall of tenth grade and another in the spring. Overall, the prevalence of vaping and smoking was low.

At the beginning of the study, 2,075 students, or 67 percent, reported having never tried e-cigarettes. Another 730 participants, or 23 percent, had vaped in the past and 133 vaped on two or fewer days in the previous 30 days.

There were only 146 teens or about 5 percent who said that they were frequent e-cigarette users, meaning they vaped three or more days in the past month, reported Reuters.

Results showed that one in five teens who reported vaping regularly at the start of the study smoked traditional cigarettes at least three times a month by the end of the study period. Another 12 percent of routine vapers smoked at least one day a month.

When compared, it was found that less than 1 percent of students who didn't try vaping reported smoking even one day a month at the end of the study.

Vaping might increase the odds of smoking by setting e-cigarette users on a path toward nicotine addiction, said Thomas Wills, a researcher at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center in Honolulu who also wasn't involved in the study.

E-cigarette users might also develop more positive associations with tobacco use than non-vapers, making them more willing to transition to traditional cigarettes, Wills said by email. 

"There is no evidence that vaping helps protect teenagers from cigarette smoking; in fact, all the evidence is the other way 'round," Wills concluded.

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