E-cigarettes as a gateway
Some adolescents may be taking their first drags on e-cigarettes
Though they are marketed as a means to quit smoking, electronic cigarettes are offering a new route for adolescents to pick up the habit, a study finds.
Researchers from UC San Francisco examined national survey data of 40,000 middle and high school students, finding that e-cigarettes are associated with higher odds of going from experimenting with cigarettes to becoming a regular smoker, according to a UCSF press release. Additionally, about 20 percent of middle school students and about 7 percent of high school students who reported smoking e-cigarettes had never smoked regular cigarettes, suggesting some are introduced to nicotine through e-cigarettes.
E-cigarette use among middle and high school students doubled between 2011 and 2012, increasing from 3.1 percent to 6.5 percent.