E-Cigarettes Finding New Users in Teens

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Touted as a way to quit smoking, the latest data raise concerns that electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, may actually be a gateway for teens into tobacco use.

According to the latest data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey,  the percentage of middle school and high school students who have tried e-cigarettes doubled from 3.3% in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012. There was a similar doubling of current e-cigarette smokers, defined as having smoked an e-cigarette in the last 30 days, from 1.1% to 2.1%.

Overall, that translated to 1.78 million middle school and high school e-cigarette smokers. Even more concerning, said CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden in a statement, is that 76.3% of these smokers also said they smoked conventional cigarettes. “The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling,” he said. “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug.  Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes.”

(MORE: Doctors Asked to Counsel Teens About the Dangers of Smoking)

Most addictions to nicotine start at a young age, and the findings, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, suggest that a vast majority of students who use e-cigarettes also turn to conventional tobacco products as well.

As TIME’s Josh Sanburn reported early this year, the e-cigarette business is rapidly growing, with UBS estimating that sales–which have doubled every year since 2008–will reach $1 billion in 2013. “Consumption of e-cigs may overtake traditional cigarettes in the next decade,” Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog told Sanburn. “And they’ll only evolve and improve as time goes forward — at far less risk. The technology portion of it is sort of like Apple. This is just Version 1.”

E-cigarettes are battery-operated products — designed to look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes — that can contain varying amounts of nicotine, or none at all. They turn the nicotine or other chemicals into a vapor that users inhale, sparing them exposure to the smoke created by burning tobacco, which can release carcinogens into the lungs. Whether e-cigarettes are actually safer than regular cigarettes isn’t clear; a recent study found that e-cigarettes can cause increased resistance in the airways, making it harder to breathe, within minutes of inhalation of the vapors, while other studies have suggested the products can help smokers to quit.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently studying the data on electronic cigarettes and plans to issue a regulatory rule on the products soon. For now, only e-cigarettes that are prescribed for treating smoking are regulated by the FDA; other uses are not. But, based on the results, the agency reiterated its plans to extend its tobacco control jurisdiction to cover these products as well as the cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco that it already regulates.

(MORE: Can Electronic Cigarettes Challenge Big Tobacco?)

The agency’s rule will certainly take into consideration the question of how teens are using e-cigarettes, and will consider studies that investigate whether the products serve as a gateway to other tobacco use. “About 90 percent of all smokers begin smoking as teenagers. We must keep our youth from experimenting or using any tobacco product,” Dr. Tim McAfee, the director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health said in a statement.

If, as the results suggest, e-cigarette use is tied to tobacco use among teens, then electronic cigarettes could be just as enabling as conventional cigarettes for nicotine addictions. “These dramatic increases suggest that developing strategies to prevent marketing, sales, and use of e-cigarettes among youth is critical,” said McAfee.

37 comments
markj01
markj01

Much has been said already, if the nation is indeed democratic, let the people speak for themselves. A ban on electronic cigarettes is not the solution. It isn't even illegal to smoke traditional cigarettes in the world... E-cigs provide an alternative option to it (though with nicotine but without the smoke or tar!)...


Kind Regards,

Mark

http://clickacig.com

LisaBelle
LisaBelle

E-CIGARETTES ARE AN EXODUS FROM THE GRIP OF BIG TOBACCO SIN TAXES, BIG PHARMACEUTICAL MONKEY BUSINESS WITH BRAIN CHEMISTRY AND 19,200.000 DEATHS SINCE 1965 SURGEON GENERALS SHAMING, WARNING AND BLAMING LABELS, THEIR BLOOD IS ON THE HANDS OF THE HEALTH ORGS. THAT MUTATE THEIR OWN GENES, FATTEN  THEMSELVES AS THE GREEDY INHUMANE ENTITIES THEY ARE!  

RehanZaib
RehanZaib

All that said, some e-cigarette users were able to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked, even if they didn't quit.

http://ecig.pk

slyalys
slyalys

Teens can be 18 and 19.....

And nicotine doesn't kill. Most people who smoke e-cigs do not want a real cigarette.

I tried an e-cigarette (e-hookah really), and I've tried a real cigarette. If I was going to take up the habit, it would be electronically. I don't see the e-cigarettes as a gateway to tobacco. This being a young persons view. Plus you can derive nicotine from other sources than tobacco, like potatoes or eggplants... Yes, you can smoke an eggplant.

achwyn
achwyn

@boucherhayes My use of e-cigarettes was route away from the 'real thing', as it has been for increasing millions of former smokers

JohnR.Polito
JohnR.Polito

Every jurisdiction on earth is currently amending its laws to protect youth from e-cigs.   Why not erect a physical barrier between the adolescent mind and a neo-nicotine industry that seeks to enslave it?  If serious about protecting youth why not include this?

A. Nicotine products may not be sold or distributed at any business location allowing access by persons under eighteen years of age. Nicotine products may only be sold indoors at permanent fixed business locations. All retail nicotine product sales locations must have a door to control youth access.

B. Each entrance to any nicotine product sales location shall conspicuously display a legible sign having a minimum size of 8 inches by 8 inches (8" x 8"). The sign shall read, “YOUTH WARNING - NICOTINE SALES LOCATION - DO NOT ENTER - Nicotine products are extremely addictive. Our law requires that you must be at least 18 years of age to enter this location. The penalty for violating this law is a fine of up to $500 dollars.”

C. Any nicotine product sales location violating any provision of this section shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for a first violation, and not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for any subsequent violation. The business license of any location found to have committed a flagrant or repeat violation shall be suspended for a minimum of one year but not more than five years.

D. Any person under the age of eighteen years who enters a tobacco product sales location may be fined up to $500. The Court may suspend any fine subject to attendance and proof of successful completion of a nicotine dependency prevention or cessation program.

PANATAG
PANATAG

PAYONGKAIBIGAN NOWITZKI:

STYROFOR

PANATAG 

INFORMAL SETTLER

SOLUTIONS of our authority

'Get outta ze cab!'

By Simon Busch, CNN

August 21, 2013

TOBACCO E-Cigarettes Finding New Users in Teens


mmcomiller
mmcomiller

@boucherhayes it's happening everywhere ... convinced its harmless the 'healthy' youth/people are starting to smoke ecigs, inevitable, pity

sharon_schembri
sharon_schembri

@TIME ...this emergent trend is such a concern given tobacco orgs ownership of e-cigs combined with lack of disclosure on contents

NatureBoy57
NatureBoy57

@nycjim @TIME Everything's electronic, games, texting, social media, it was only a matter of time for cigarettes

HS_Watson
HS_Watson

@TIME At least it is far more better than smoking the physical cigarettes.

Selwynrf
Selwynrf

@TIME Just goes to prove teens are as stupid as ever. They should be using pot, it provides a real high.

Irfan
Irfan

If e-cigarettes were not around, these teens would possibly be smoking actual cigarettes. Now, that's something worth worrying about. Not the other way round.

DarlaMcGahan
DarlaMcGahan

@JohnR.Polito  hum interesting how about those NRTs that teens and young adults are using?  Seems you forgot about how those have nicotine in them.  Where is campaign against them?  Oh that's right you probably get monies from the Big Pharma to push their products.

LisaBelle
LisaBelle

@michelberube @TIME YOU NEED TO SHOW PROOF OF THIS.  LET'S SEE THE REAL NUMBERS AND NOT TRUMPED UP DOUBLED AND FAKED NUMBERS THE CDC RELEASED!  SMOKING IN TEENS IS AT AN ALL TIME DECLINE YOU ARE SUPPORTING BIG MONEY INTERESTS OR PROVE IT!

LisaBelle
LisaBelle

@sharon_schembri @TIME THESE ARE DAMNED LIES AND YOU KNOW IT, WE KNOW AND SOON THE WORLD WILL KNOW WHO YOU TRULY REPRESENT AND WHY!

JohnR.Polito
JohnR.Polito

@DarlaMcGahan @JohnR.Polito   Darla, the above ordinance includes NRT products too.  As for my relationship with pharma, a quick Google would reveal that I've devoted thousands of hours to exposing NRT's fraud, that NRT studies were not blind as claimed, that it's impossible for the brain to adjust to functioning without nicotine while it continues to arrive, that NRT gets clobbered by cold turkey in real world quitting.