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E-cigarettes: Gateway to nicotine addiction for US teens, says UCSF study
Date:3/6/2014

were associated with higher odds of progression from experimenting with cigarettes to becoming established cigarette smokers. Additionally, adolescents who smoked both conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes smoked more cigarettes per day than non-e-cigarette users.

Contrary to advertiser claims that e-cigarettes can help consumers stop smoking conventional cigarettes, teenagers who used e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes were much less likely to have abstained from cigarettes in the past 30 days, 6 months, or year. At the same time, they were more likely to be planning to quit smoking in the next year than smokers who did not use e-cigarettes.

The study's cross-sectional nature didn't allow the researchers to identify whether most youths initiated with conventional cigarettes or e-cigarettes. But the authors noted that about 20 percent of middle school students and about 7 percent of high school students who had ever used e-cigarettes had never smoked regular cigarettes meaning that some kids are introduced to the addictive drug nicotine through e-cigarettes, the authors said.

"It looks to me like the wild west marketing of e-cigarettes is not only encouraging youth to smoke them, but also it is promoting regular cigarette smoking among youth," said senior author Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

The new results are consistent with a similar study of 75,000 Korean adolescents published last year by UCSF researchers, which also found that adolescents who used e-cigarettes were less likely to have stopped smoking conventional cigarettes (visit bit.ly/1fFNWbc to learn more).

In combination, the two studies suggest that "e-cigarettes may contribute to nicotine addiction and are unlikely to discourage conventional cigarette smoking among youths," said the scientists.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Preventio
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Contact: Elizabeth Fernandez
elizabeth.fernandez@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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