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Teens who vape much more likely to move on to smoking, study finds

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Washington — Teens who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to start smoking, according to the results of a recent study led by researchers from Children’s National Hospital and the University of Texas at Austin.

The study involved nearly 8,700 12- to 17-year-olds who participated in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, a nationally representative study of tobacco use. The researchers compared the participants’ e-cigarette use and interest levels in smoking in 2014 and 2015 with their smoking habits in 2015 and 2016.

They found that 9.7% of the e-cigarette users who never considered smoking had progressed to smoking cigarettes a year later. Among the participants who said they had considered smoking in the future, 17.4% of e-cigarette users, compared with 10% of non-vapers, had started smoking by the next year.


The researchers note that more research is needed to understand how vaping progresses to cigarette smoking, but concluded that their findings are helpful in the effort to prevent adolescents from smoking in the future.

The study was published online Dec. 1 in the journal Pediatrics.

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