In addition to health effects associated with nicotine, there’s another reason now to avoid e-cigarette use. A nationally representative study earlier this month found that using e-cigarettes as one’s first tobacco product was associated with 4 times the odds of ever using cigarettes and 3 times the odds of currently using cigarettes compared to no prior use of tobacco. Of even more concern was that this association was more pronounced in low-risk youth, a phenomenon not seen before with use of other products. In addition, estimates of cigarette use suggest that the proportion of smoking attributable to e-cigarettes may be larger than the proportion attributable to all other non-cigarette products combined.
The study’s findings are consistent with previous studies suggesting that new e-cigarette use is linked to initiation of combustible cigarette use. Authors state that “these findings strengthen the rationale for aggressive regulation of youth access to and marketing of e-cigarettes to achieve future decreases in the prevalence of cigarette use among youths”.
Berry KM, Fetterman JL, Benjamin EJ, et al. Association of Electronic Cigarette Use With Subsequent Initiation of Tobacco Cigarettes in US Youths. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(2):e187794. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.7794