January 11, 2014

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

New evidence that ecigs promoting nicotine addiction among young adults

Kelvin Choi and Jean Forester just published a well-done longitudinal study of young adults  that followed young adults in Minnesota for one year and examined how attitudes about e-cigarettes affected behavior.
They report that one year after entering the study 7.4% of the young adults reported ever using e-cigarettes (21.6% among baseline current smokers, 11.9% among baseline former smokers, and 2.9% among baseline nonsmokers).  Put another way, 11.9% of people who had quit smoking before the study started were using e-cigarettes at the end as were 2.9% of people who had never smoked.  For these people, e-cigarettes were a pathway to renewed or new nicotine addiction.
In addition, people who believed e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking and perceived e-cigarettes to be less harmful than cigarettes at baseline were more likely to report experimenting with e-cigarettes at follow-up regardless of whether or not they were smoking cigarettes at baseline. This finding is particularly troubling since, while e-cigarettes are widely promoted as cessation aids, the actual evidence is that e-cigarettes are associated with less quitting cigarettes among both adults and adolescents.
The full paper, published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is available here.

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