Based on the latest findings, three in four American adolescents thinks that vaping is less addictive or harmful than traditional smoking. However, scientists underline that things are not that simple.
Most teenagers believe that e-cigarette use is safer than smoking just because vaping has become more popular. In other words, their perception relies on how a popular a certain product is, the scientists added.
According to Dr. Stephen Amrock, lead researcher from the Portland Oregon Health and Science University, e-cigarettes are the most popular smoking devices among teenagers across the United States, while many minors also started using these electronic devices thinking they are safe.
E-cigarettes work by heating up a nicotine-containing liquid, chemicals, and various flavorings depending on what users prefer. These devices are powered by batteries and create a vapor which people inhale.
Also, the team stresses that children and adolescents who use these vaping devices have a higher risk of becoming regular smokers compared with those who don’t use e-cigarettes and don’t smoke at all.
Amrock continues by saying that “This is not a no-risk situation. The FDA has just recently begun to consider e-cigarettes as tobacco and regulate them accordingly. That is an important part of the process in getting these products out of the hands of children.”
His team analyzed the data collected by the National Youth Tobacco Survey from 2012 to 2014 and discovered that around 73 percent of teenagers thought that vaping is safer than smoking. Also, 20 percent of those believed that smokeless tobacco had a less harmful effect, whereas 26 percent of the total teenagers interviewed thought that traditional cigarettes were safer.
It is worth mentioning that another 47 percent thought that e-cigarette use is not as addictive as smoking, while 14 percent believed smoking is more addictive than smokeless tobacco. Last but not least, 31.5 percent of these teenagers thought that smoking was less addictive than vaping.
By looking at these statistics, researchers concluded that teenagers who believed e-cigarette use is safer were mostly boys who lived with an adult who had such an electronic device.
Amrock and his team underline that there is a growing concern that vaping will slowly bring traditional smoking back in trend, meaning that more teenagers will jump in the bandwagon and become regular smokers, therefore, addicted to nicotine.
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