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Teen Vaping Doubles Risk for Subsequent Tobacco Use

Adolescent boys who use e-cigarettes twice as likely to initiate cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products

THURSDAY, Jan. 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Adolescent boys who use electronic cigarettes have an increased risk for subsequently initiating traditional tobacco products, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in Addictive Behaviors.

Brittney Keller-Hamilton, M.P.H., from the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues used a causal inference framework to identify whether male adolescent e-cigarette users were at increased risk for initiating cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco (SLT) use compared with similar boys who had never used e-cigarettes. The analysis included 1,220 boys (aged 11 to 16 years at enrollment) followed every six months for two years.

The researchers found that compared with nonusers, e-cigarette users were more than twice as likely to later initiate both cigarette smoking (relative risk [RR], 2.71) and SLT (RR, 2.42). E-cigarette users were also more likely to become current (past 30 days) cigarette smokers (RR, 2.20) and SLT users (RR, 1.64).

“It is important to remain vigilant in seeking strategies and policies to prevent teens from starting habits that pose a threat to their health, particularly when they serve as a stepping stone to more harmful tobacco products,” Keller-Hamilton said in a statement.

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