New Study Links Teen Vaping To Teen Cigarette Smoking

By: Cari Nierenberg, Contributing writer
Published: 08/19/2015 02:18 PM EDT on LiveScience

Teens who use electronic cigarettes may be more likely to start smoking conventional tobacco products than teens who have never tried e-cigarettes, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at a group of teens who had just entered ninth grade in Los Angeles, and found that those who said they had used e-cigarettes — called vaping, because the nicotine solution is vaporized within the device — were more likely to report both six months and one year later that they had gone on to experiment with smokable tobacco products (such as cigarettes or cigars), compared with their classmates who hadn’t tried vaping.

“The study found that 14-year-olds who had used e-cigarettes for recreational purposes were four times more likely to start smoking at least one harmful tobacco product — including regular cigarettes, a hookah tobacco water pipe and/or cigars — over the next year,” said Adam Leventhal, an associate professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and a co-author of the study, published today (Aug. 18) in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The new study showed a link between e-cigarette use in teens and an increased chance of smoking other products later on, but it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between them, Leventhal noted.

Still, the researchers said that although e-cigarette use in adults is viewed as a way to help regular smokers cut down or quit the habit, e-cig use in teens may play a very different role. [4 Myths About E-Cigarettes]

In the study, the researchers first surveyed about 2,500 ninth-graders in the fall at 10 public high schools in Los Angeles. The researchers included in their analysis only the —> Read More