TORONTO: Teenagers who try vape may be at double the risk for developing addiction to smoking tobacco cigarettes, according to a new study.
The findings showed that students in grades 7 to 12 who had tried an e-cigarette are 2.16 times more likely to be susceptible to cigarette smoking.
"Since e-cigarettes came on the market, there has been a debate about whether their use may lead to cigarette smoking. The answer among adolescents is yes," said Bruce Baskerville, a researcher at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
E-cigarettes can contain nicotine but not many of the harmful substances produced by smoking tobacco such as tar or carbon monoxide.
These products work through an inhalation-activated system that heats a solution to create an inhalable aerosol often known as vapour.
"While preliminary evidence suggests that e-cigarettes contain fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes, our findings suggest that a potential increase in harmful cigarette use may follow as e-cigarette use continues to rise among adolescent populations," Baskerville added.
The study was published in the journal Preventive Medicine.
"This study supports the restricting of e-cigarette access to minors, which have been shown to have heightened risk to initiate smoking," Baskerville said.
However, more research is needed on additional contributing risk factors as well as longitudinal data to evaluate the complex relationship between e-cigarette use and tobacco cigarette use in adolescence.