Teenagers Smoke E-Cigarettes Because They Think It’s Cool And Fun, Study Says

By Elizabeth Anderson, Parent Herald July 19, 08:34 am

Teenagers are drawn to smoking e-cigarettes because they see it as cool, fun and something new, new research in Canada has found. This is based on a survey of 2367 students who were 14-15 years old in the Niagara region of Ontario.

"While e-cigarettes are frequently used as devices for smoking cessation in adults, we found most students in our survey (including 47.8% of those who recently smoked cigarettes) were motivated by the "cool/fun/something new" features of e-cigarettes," according to Dr. Michael Khoury and other authors, as per a report from EurekAlert. Khoury is a pediatric cardiology resident at Stollery Children's Hospital in Alberta.

Profile Of Teenagers Who Used E-Cigarettes

According to the report, almost 70 percent or 1599 of the students who answered to at least one question regarding smoking had heard of e-cigarettes. There were nearly 25 percent or 380 teenagers who knew of e-cigarettes from displays or store signs while over 10 percent or 238 had actually used e-cigarettes.

The Globe and Mail said that the students who said that they had used e-cigarettes were more likely to be male. These students were also those who have smoked traditional cigarettes or those who have family members or friends that engaged in smoking. Khoury was quoted as saying the rate was teenage e-cigarette smoking rate they found was "alarming."

No Good Reason For E-Cigarette Use

"There is no good reason for youth - or any nonsmokers - to be using e-cigarettes," said Dr. Matthew B. Stanbrook in an accompanying editorial to the study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Stanbrook is the deputy editor of the CMAJ and a respirologist.

Stanbrook said the study revealed that vulnerable teenagers were the ones who mostly used e-cigarettes, teenagers who had poor health, high stress or low socioeconomic status. "Nothing good can come of providing vulnerable individuals with a more appealing way to become addicted to nicotine," Stanbrook said, adding that e-cigarettes can cause potential harm, especially for youth.

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