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Teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking regular tobacco. (JAMA)

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On August 18, 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study by The University of Southern California funded by the National Institute of Health that evaluated whether e-cigarette use among 14-year-old high school students in Los Angeles who have never tried combustible tobacco but use e-cigarettes, is associated with the risk of initiating use of combustible tobacco products (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, and hookah), and thus e-cigarettes would be a gateway drug to combustible tobacco product use.

 10 public high schools in Los Angeles were surveyed. The study that found that students using e-cigarettes prior to starting 9th grade where more likely than nonuser peers to start smoking traditional cigarettes or other combustible tobacco products within the next year:
  • After six months, 30.7% of e-cigarette users started using combustible tobacco products, vs. only 9.3% of non-users of e-cigarettes started using combustible tobacco products.
  • After one year from the initial survey, 25.22% of e-cigarette users had used combustible tobacco products.
2308 students reported not using any products, and the initial survey found that 222 students used e-cigarettes but not regular tobacco products. Read more in the August 26, 2015 article from the the American Academy of Family Physicians