BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A new study reveals that e-cigarettes are harmful to the heart. The study, conducted by the University of Southern California found that teenagers who don’t otherwise smoke, are now vaping. This makes e-cigarettes a substitute for real cigarettes among teens.
E-cigarettes made their entry into the American market in 2007. They work by vaporizing liquids which may or may not contain nicotine. In 2011, only around 1.5 percent of high-schoolers had vapored in the past month, according to the Survey on National Youth Tobacco consumption. Four years later, the number rose to 16 percent.
The USC study which involved 5,490 high school students concluded that tobacco use among teens in South California is still rising. In 2014, around 14 percent of 12th-grade students declared that they had either vaped or smoked in the previous month. A decade earlier, before e-cigarettes hitting the US market, just 9 percent of surveyed teens reported smoking.
Jessica Barrington, lead author of the study, stated that although researchers expected to see a downward trend in smoking rates through 2014, the combined e-cigarette and cigarette use far exceeded their expectations. The data supports the idea that some teens who are vaping would not have smoked cigarettes if it weren’t for vaping.
The study was published on the 11th of July in the Pediatrics journal. Cigarettes are the main preventable cause of death and disease in America. Cigarettes cost the lives of more than 480,000 Americans yearly, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Society perceives e-cigarettes as less dangerous than regular cigarettes, but the concern is that teens could be introduced to nicotine through e-cigarettes, Barrington said.
So far, California has some of the lowest smoking rates in the country. The increase in vaping may lead to increases in smoking. This could reverse the progress made over the last few decades in tobacco control.
California rose the age for tobacco purchase and e-cigarette purchase last month. The age was raised from 18 to 21. It seems that for new users of e-cigarettes, experimenting with nicotine becomes addictive really fast.
Facing growing demand, many e-cigarettes now look like usual cigarettes. Some have refillable cartridges; others are rechargeable. Should teens smoke? What’s your opinion on this issue? Tell us below!
Image Source – Wikipedia