E-cigarettes and vaping is considered to be a harmless version of the real thing with many manufacturers selling them to the youth. There are candy and a host of other flavoured e-cigarettes that are being sold to the youth. A new study from the University of Pittsburgh has found that use of these among the youth raises the risk of their smoking cigarettes later in life. The study was published this week in the American Journal of Medicine.

University of Pittsburgh researcher Brian Primack, director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health, and Dean of Pitt’s Honors College, and his colleagues from Pitt, Dartmouth and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, looked at a group of 915 participants who were 18- to 30-year-old non-smokers in March of 2013. They looked at these individuals again 18 months later. They analyzed the use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes among this population. Of the 915 participants in the survey, 16 had tried e-cigarettes initially of which 6 went on to smoke cigarettes later. The other 899 who had never smoked any form of cigarettes, 80 took up cigarette smoking. Results showed that 47.7 percent of those who had used e-cigarettes earlier would go on to try and smoke cigarettes. Compared to this, only around 10.2 percent of those who had not tried e-cigarettes went on to smoke cigarettes at a later date. They matched this finding with the standard US population to arrive at these percentages.

Dr. Primack explained that there have been studies that show a raised risk of taking up smoking among the youth who experiment with vaping. He added that “experience puts them at a higher risk of later on transitioning.”

– Ananya Mandal

Read more: E-cigarette use among youth leads to smoking as adults finds study

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