E-cigarettes are a source of major concern among American parents. This is quite normal if we take into consideration how unknown and abstract the entire subject is. We do not know many things about e-cigarettes, we do not much about the effect they have on our bodies and studies about their implications are scarce and uncertain. Thankfully, one study has been carried out that seems to shed some light upon e-cigarettes and their social implication.
The study that we are going to discuss is the Southern California Children’s Health Study, which applied a questionnaire to 2084 students, 11th and 12th graders. Among the findings there were identified: a number of 500 students (24%) from which 48 (9.6%) confirmed to have used an e-cigarette within the last 30 days; out of the 500 students 94(18.7%) confirmed to have never smoken a traditional cigarette.
While most of the students admitted that cigarettes and e-cigarettes were harmful for their health, almost half of those who had been using e-cigarettes within the past 30 days stated that they would bring no harm. Now let us look at this statement closely: when you read “almost half” it seemed quite disturbing and a major issue, but statistically we are faced only with the 9.6% stated earlier (48), students who admitted using e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, but half of them are only 24 out of the total 2084 questioned.
Thus, while the study does shed some light upon the issue, the statistical approach can also be deceiving us into thinking that this is a widespread issue while, in reality, out of almost 2100 students only a quarter are actually using e-cigarettes. However, while the issue might not be as large as we had expected, it is definitely not wise to neglect the remaining 500 students who do use e-cigarettes.
Doctor Jessica Barrington-Trimis, who was the leader of the study, raised awareness concerning the use of e-cigarettes among teenagers. Peer pressure, being part of a certain group and positive reinforcement can lead to the increasing use of e-cigarettes. Doctor Barrington-Trimis mentions that this increased use can give way to future generations of tobacco users and some teenagers who use e-cigarettes belong to very unique and special groups.
While the issue is not yet a major one, it is our duty to take care of our children and and try to keep the e-cigarette usage to a minimum. We should do so at least until we make further discoveries as to how they affect health on the long run.
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