A new study is drawing attention to the increase in the number of teens that have never smoked tobacco, yet are avid users of vaping or e-cigarettes.
The worrying percentage of teens that are drawn to e-cigarettes has increased to 40 percent. And as the liquid product in the vaporizers often contains nicotine, and is now used by a larger array of teens than just those looking to kick the habit, e-cigarettes are getting positive feedback from 91 percent of teenagers using them.
The study was conducted at the University of Southern California and published in the journal Pediatrics. The main goal of the study is, according to researchers, to underpin the challenges that come with preventing teens from the use of nicotine.
While health campaigns have targeted tobacco products and have been largely successful over the years in reducing the percentage of teen smokers, this new product seems to add fuel to the fire.
As 40 percent of the teens vaping from their e-cigarettes reported never having touched a tobacco product, and as 90 percent of those using e-cigarettes positively reviewed their experience, researchers cannot help but to underline repeatedly that e-cigarette usage could reverse the declining trend in tobacco product usage.
“We found that, collectively, these factors that indicate a positive social environment mean that e-cigarettes are becoming more normalized,”
stated Jessica Barrington-Trimis, lead author of the research and an associate researcher at the University of Southern California.
The findings of the study were conducted on a sample of 2,048 teens, both male and female, just in 12th or 11th grade. The sample group was ethnically mixed so that the results would be representative.
34 percent of teens using e-cigarettes are influenced by others around them. Mostly friends or family members already using e-cigarettes are the main sources of influences. For the teens who have someone in their circles already using e-cigarettes, the chances that they pick up vaping are 104 times higher than for their peers who don’t know anyone using an e-cigarette.
In just one year, from 2013 to 2104, the number of teens using e-cigarettes increased from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent. The numbers are retrieved from the National Youth Tobacco Survey. Yet, according to the CDC, during the same period, cigarette smoking among teens reduced by 3.5 percent, from 12.7 percent to 9.2 percent.
The findings of the University of Southern California study are drawing the map of how e-cigarette teen use could grow into reversing the declining percentages of teen tobacco use. The growth in popularity of e-cigarettes is a key factor as well, that should be kept under check by health authorities.
Photo Credits ecigarettereviewed.com