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E-cigarettes serve as a gateway to conventional smoking’ for teens and young adults (Medical News Today, Honor Whiteman)

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On September 9, 2015 Medical News Today reported that according to a joint analysis by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research Media, Technology and Health, and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, E-cigarettes serve as a gateway to smoking for teens and young adults.

The article discussed the key findings of the analysis that surveyed a national sample of 694 ndividuals aged 16-26 who had never smoked conventional cigarettes. 

In the manuscript by lead authors, Drs. Primack and Sargent, and their team, theorize why e-cigarette smoking may serve as a gateway to traditional cigarette smoking, including:

  • E-cigarettes deliver nicotine more slowly than traditional cigarettes, allowing a new user to advance to cigarette smoking as he or she becomes tolerant of nicotine side effects.
  • Unlike other forms of nicotine, such as smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes are designed to mimic the behavioral and sensory act of cigarette smoking, allowing the user to become accustomed to the act of smoking.
  • E-cigarettes are not subject to the same regulations as traditional cigarettes, potentially renormalizing the act of smoking after decades of public health efforts to shift public norms around smoking.

Read the full September 9,2015 Med News Today article and the September 8,2015 University of Pittsburg News release.