Research Suggests People Who Think E-Cigarettes Are Healthy Are More Likely To Smoke Them

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13th January 2014 14:19 - Chemicals

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the belief that e-cigarettes pose less of a health risk may lead to increased experimentation with e-cigarettes among young adults.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota looked at whether or not there was a relationship between perceived notions about the harmfulness of e-cigarettes and e-cigarette use. The initial survey of 1,379 adolescents explored their opinions about e-cigarettes and their effect on health, or their usefulness as an aid to stop smoking.

A follow-up survey, conducted one year later, asked participants if they had experimented with e-cigarettes.

Lead author Dr Kelvin Choi said:

“Participants who agreed e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking, and those who agreed that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, were more likely than those who did not agree to subsequently report experimenting with e-cigarettes...”

Specifically, the follow-up study found almost a tenth (7.4%) of participants who had never used an e-cigarette reported using one.

While the risks associated with long-term e-cigarette use are largely unknown, recent studies suggest that they can significantly increase plasma nicotine levels, which means they are potentially as addictive as cigarettes.

The study also suggests that a tenth (12%) of former young adult smokers were re-introduced to nicotine through e-cigarettes.

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