New evidence e-cigarettes are gateway to tobacco

Healthcheck on Action News

There's more evidence that electronic cigarettes may be enticing teens to try the tobacco ones.

A nationwide survey of teens who never smoked shows that nearly 60 per cent who tried the flavored electronic ones intend to start smoking tobacco.

And the majority of e-cigarette users started out with sweet, candy-like flavors.

"Due to a proliferation of e-cigarette flavors on the market, flavored e-cigarette use among youth in the U.S. has increased significantly," study author Hongying Dai said.

The number of teens who use e-cigarette devices to "vape" has nearly quadrupled since 2013.

Flavored e-cigarettes aren't prohibited in the United States.

Although the F-D-A has imposed new rules on electronic cigarettes, it doesn't have legal authority to regulate the flavors.

Nearly 500 brand with more than 7-thousand flavors are currently on the market.

Dai's team looked at the nearly 16,500 teens answering the survey who had never smoked cigarettes but used e-cigarettes.

The researchers also looked at more than 1,300 current smokers and assessed if they intended to quit. Finally, the investigators looked at nearly 21,500 teens to assess their perception of the dangers of tobacco.

The study found that just over 2,000 teens said they had used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days.

Among current tobacco smokers, 68 percent of those who also "vaped" said they had used flavored e-cigarettes.
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