E-cigarettes are seen as a safer alternative to smoking, as levels of chemicals found in e-cigs are lower and less harmful for our health. Many smokers give up their old habit to take up e-cigarette smoking, as it is more versatile and more in handy. Tobacco use continues to walk on a downward slope among teens, while e-cigarette use has started climbing. But is this a good replacement? Experts tend to believe that the popularity of e-cigarettes will start to undo all the progress made in reducing teen smoke rates.
A recent study reveals that e-cigarette use boosts risk of taking up smoking among teens. Almost a quarter of high school students, both juniors and seniors had used an e-cigarette at least once, and almost one in five had smoked a traditional cigarette. Furthermore, two in five teens have never smoked a traditional cigarette.
According to expert interpretations, e-cigarettes may be recruiting new tobacco product users who might not have smoked classic cigarettes. Researchers have surveyed more than 2000 high school students in Southern California in spring 2014 and asked them how often they had used e-cigs or smoked traditional cigarettes in the past month. Students who used a product one day within a month were considered “current users”, while those who had ever used a product, although not in the past month, were considered “past users”.
From the total amount of surveyed individuals, 9, 6% were current e-cigarette users and 5, 7% were traditional cigarette smokers. Also, the 24% who had ever tried e-cigs were more likely take up smoking, according to expert interpretations. As they fail to show interest in the replacement, teens could go taste “the real deal” and become regular cigarette smokers. However, among those considered current e-cigarette users, 40, 5% had never smoked a traditional cigarette.
There is nevertheless a flaw in the study, as experimentation and regular use are not distinguished properly and everything is open to speculation. E-cigarettes have a particular taste and flavor, which can be perceived as more pleasant than the taste classic tobacco leaves on our taste buds. This could be a reason why e-cigarette smokers could keep their e-smoking habit rather than take up classic tobacco smoking.
“It’s unfortunate that despite collecting information on how many days of the month respondents had used vapor products, the authors did not see fit to disclose that data and weigh it against the smoking patterns of those students” ,critics declared.
Image Source: telegraph.co.uk