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Pediatrics Journal reveals psychosocial factors of teen e-cigarette use (Reuters, Andrew M. Seaman):

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A new study published July 21, 2015 in Pediatrics Journal suggests that electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are used by teens in part because socially, e-cigs are not viewed as cigarettes. 2,084 Southern California teens participated in the study.The lead author of the study, “Psychosocial Factors Associated with Adolescdent Electronic Cigarette and Cigarette Use,” was Jessica Barrington-Trimis from the University of California in Los Angeles.

Important findings according to the study include:

  • 24% of teens reported using an e-cigarette (499 teens), of which 9.6% (200 teens) had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.
  • Of the 24% of teens that reported using an e-cigarette (499 teens), 40.5% had never smoked a cigarette.
  • 18.7% of teens surveyed had smoke a combustible cigarette (390 teens), and 5.7% were current smokers (119 teens).
  • About 10% had used an e-cigarette within the past 30 days, compared to about 6% reporting recent traditional cigarette use.
  • 14% of teens thought e-cigarettes are not harmful, compared to about 1 percent who thought cigarettes are not harmful”.
  • Teens were more likely to use e-cigarettes or traditional cigarettes if either product was used at home, if friends used either product or if peers viewed use of either product positively.
  • The youngsters’ understanding of possible harms from e-cigarettes or traditional cigarettes was tied to their likelihood of using either product”.

The researchers concluded that studies are needed to determine if electronic smoking devices will lead the “renormalization of tobacco products, or dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The lead author told Reuter that “[p]arents should just be aware if their teens are hanging out with other who are using these products”.

Read the Reuter’s article on the Huffington Post website.
Read the Pediatrics Journal study