Flavored E-Cigarette Use May Increase Teens’ Desire to Smoke Tobacco

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New research reported in the December 2016 edition of Pediatrics suggests that the use of electronic cigarettes featuring flavors such as gummy bear and bubble gum by U.S. middle- and high-school students may serve as a gateway for future tobacco use.

A recent study consisting of data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey suggests use of these products increases teens’ intent to begin smoking cigarettes and decreases their perception of tobacco’s danger. Among survey respondents who had never smoked tobacco, 56 percent of current e-cigarette users reported using flavored e-cigarettes. Among current tobacco smokers, 68 percent reported using flavored e-cigarettes.

Compared with not using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, using flavored e-cigarettes was associated with higher odds of intention to initiate cigarette use among youth who never smoked and lower odds of intention to quit tobacco use among youth who currently smoke. Among all respondents, using flavored e-cigarettes was associated with a lower prevalence of perception of tobacco’s danger.

The study authors noted that more than 460 brands and 7,700 flavors of e-cigarettes currently are on the market, while the number of U.S. youth who use e-cigarettes has nearly quadrupled since 2013.

Learn more about teens use of e-cigarettes at carolinaparent.com/e-cigarette-use-a-troubling-trend.

Categories: Health, Health and Development, Teens