Study: More teens opting for e-cigarettes over tobacco products

Washington: A new study has demonstrated that electronic cigarettes gaining in popularity among teens. The study conducted at American Academy of Pediatrics showed that teens no longer smoke just cigarettes and they have branched out to using alternative tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes, hookahs and little cigars. In fact, e-cigarette use is rising rapidly among both cigarette smokers and nonsmokers.

Principal investigator Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH, FAAP, director of the AAP Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence and associate executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), said that electronic cigarettes are of great concern and they are highly addictive nicotine delivery devices, and the vapor can and does cause harm to lungs.

Data for the national study were collected from 142 pediatric practices participating in a randomized, controlled trial to improve the quality of services to help teens stop smoking. Youths ages 14 and older who went to one of the practices for a checkup or a non-urgent sick visit in 2012-2014 were recruited to fill out a survey about their tobacco use. The questionnaire asked whether they had ever used cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookahs, chewing tobacco or small cigars/cigarillos.

Results showed traditional cigarettes were the most common tobacco product used by adolescents (22 percent of teens), followed by hookah (13 percent) and electronic cigarettes (10 percent).

E-cigarette use rose from 8 percent of teens in 2012 to 11 percent in 2014. Use of electronic cigarettes was especially high among those who also smoked traditional cigarettes (56 percent in 2014).

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