Using the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study population consisting of youth ages 12 to 17 years, the investigators studied use of noncigarette tobacco products among youths who had never used cigarettes at baseline, and assessed ever and past 30-day use of cigarettes one year later. "But when you look at these other products too, like smokeless tobacco and cigarillos, they're having the same magnitude of relationship with future smoking", said Shannon Lea Watkins, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco.
Bottom Line: The use of electronic cigarettes, hookahs, noncigarette combustible tobacco or smokeless tobacco by adolescents were each associated with starting to smoke conventional cigarettes within a year.
Teenagers who use e-cigarette tobacco products are twice as likely to start smoking conventional cigarettes, compared to those who have never used such a device, a new study shows.
Consequently, the gains made in public health as cigarette smoking has declined in recent years may be at risk if the use of novel tobacco products continues to rise, according to the authors of the study, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. In contrast, only about 4% of participants who had not used these tobacco products at baseline reported subsequent cigarette use at follow-up.
"We hear so much talk about e-cigarettes, which are now the most used tobacco product among adolescents, even higher use than cigarettes".
None of the participants had ever smoked traditional cigarettes prior to the start of the study.
Recently Dr. Samir Soneji from Dartmouth University and co-workers analyzed data from almost 12,000 adolescents to understand the extent of their online contact with tobacco products and the extent to which it may have affected their behavior. Researchers analyzed data from almost 12,000 teens. The majority of teens who use these products buy vapes and e-cigarettes with these kinds of flavorings, according another study from the University of MI in 2016. In order to get the powers that be to effect some sort of regulation of such contacts, one must have evidence that they do, in fact, affect young people's uptake and use of tobacco products.
"I'm perhaps surprised about how similar the relationships were for each product across the board", Watkins said.
Last June, the University of Texas System became the first entirely tobacco-free university system in the state, officials said, and the largest single employer prohibiting tobacco use statewide. It is also prohibited to sell tobacco products in casinos.