Some teenagers who supposedly would not have smoked traditional cigarettes are vaping or using electronic cigarettes, according to a new study conducted in Southern California. This has raised concern that teenage vaping may dampen efforts to address smoking among teenagers.
"The combined e-cigarette and cigarette use in 2014 far exceeded what we would have expected if teens were simply substituting cigarettes with e-cigarettes. The data suggest that at least some of the teens who are vaping would not have smoked cigarettes," said study lead author Jessica Barrington-Trimis, as per EurekAlert. Barrington-Trimis is a postdoctoral scholar research associate in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC).
Teenagers Engaged In Smoking Studied
According to a report from the San Diego Union Tribune, the researchers used data from the USC Children's Health Study and looked into use of cigarettes of five groups of Southern California high school students. They graduated in 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2014. For the last groups, use of e-cigarettes or vaping was included as it only became available in the United States in 2007.
Data showed that 13.7 percent of 12th graders were engaged in either traditional cigarette smoking or vaping in 2014 even as the teenage smoking rate for 2004 was only nine percent. This is reportedly due to teenagers who were not smoking traditional cigarettes but are into vaping.
Vaping Association Defends Practice
"There's no reason for hysteria over data like this," said American Vaping Association President Gregory Conley, as per US News & World Report. Conley added that there have been "massive declines in this country" for both teenage and adult smoking since the proliferation of vapor products.
"We estimate that just under 5 percent of teens in our study likely would not have used cigarettes if e-cigarettes were not available," Barrington-Trimis was quoted as saying. Barrington-Trimis and her colleagues' study on teenage vaping was published in the journal Pediatrics.
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