New research finds that teenagers who use electronic cigarettes may be more likely to smoke real cigarettes.
The study included almost 2,100 California high school students, and it found that one-quarter had “vaped” (tried e-cigarettes), while ten percent of the teens were currently using e-cigarettes.
Those who used e-cigarettes were much more likely than their peers to also smoke real cigarettes.
However, correlation doesn’t prove causation. For this reason, researchers suggest that the findings do not prove e-cigarettes cause an increase in the use of cigarettes.
Vaughan Rees, the director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, said, “It represents evidence of the failure of traditional tobacco-control measures to prevent adolescents’ experimentation [with] e-cigarettes.”
According to Rees, the recent lack of regulation over e-cigarette marketing is a problem.
“We are seeing adolescents who might not smoke a conventional product — because of the health risk and social stigma — using e-cigarettes,” he said.
With this being said, the consequences of the experimentation are still not clear. In other words, the study doesn’t show that kids’ use of e-cigarettes affects their cigarette use.