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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Many Teens Who Have Never Used Cigarettes are Using E-Cigarettes

Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on our planet, and the use of products containing nicotine is one of the leading causes of preventable death. While the rate of smoking traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes, is on the decline, many teenagers have begun using e-cigarettes. New research suggests that many teenagers who use e-cigarettes have never used traditional cigarettes, Reuters reports.

The new study found that many teens who use e-cigarettes were drawn to the devices by the perceptions of their friends and family. A teenager is more apt to use an e-cigarette if their friends and family members perceive them as “cool or acceptable.”

The study showed that teenagers were more likely to use e-cigarettes if:
  • E-cigarettes were used at home.
  • The devices were used by friends.
  • Friends and Family had a positive view about the products.
“There is a lot of concern by the public health community that e-cigarettes may be recruiting a whole new group of people who never smoked cigarettes,” said lead author Jessica Barrington-Trimis of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "Our findings really suggest there’s a lot of kids who are using these e-cigarettes.” 

The research indicated that forty-one percent of more than 2,000 teenagers included in the study had recently used e-cigarettes, having never tried traditional cigarettes, according to the article. About 25 percent of teens in the study said they had tried e-cigarettes.

There is a growing concern that many teenagers who use e-cigarettes may eventually turn to traditional cigarettes. Research tells us that nicotine use of any kind is addictive and can be detrimental to teenagers, whose brains are not fully developed.

The findings were published in Pediatrics.

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