A new study published in Pediatrics, the official peer-reviewed journal for the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that the study of about 16,000 people aged 12 to 24 years had tried at least one tobacco product. This is two-thirds, and almost 33 percent of the research sample have tried five or more tobacco products.
The journal found that e-cigarettes and cigarettes were the two most popular products tried by teens and young adults. From there, additional tobacco products increased the likelihood that a user of the tobacco product would become an adult smoker, notes the analysis. A similar study from the National Academy of Medicine, published in 2018, identified a similar link between uptake and potential tobacco use as an adult.
Using e-cigarettes and multiple other tobacco products before 18 years of age is somehow “strongly associated” with later daily cigarette smoking behaviours. The study also found that the large increase in e-cigarette use, especially among young adults and older youth, will likely reverse the decline in cigarette smoking among these age groups because of the potential for the so-called gateway effect for nicotine use.
“Since the introduction of electronic cigarettes, US adolescents and young adults who experiment with tobacco commonly try multiple tobacco products,” the authors of the study found. “The impact of this on [the] subsequent prevalence of daily cigarette smoking, the most harmful form of tobacco use, is unclear.
Dr John P. Pierce of the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science and Cancer Control Program, in the Moores Cancer Center as the University of California, San Diego, led the study with several other authors. All the authors came from the University of California, San Diego, and the same organizations.