Kids Who Are Receptive To E-Cigarette Ads More Likely To Try Traditional Smoking: Study

More than 200,000 new youth will start vaping each year, simply because they saw an e-cigarette advertisement, according to new research that predicts many of these children will then eventually turn to traditional cigarettes.  

The odds of an adolescent vaping for the first time are 60% higher within a year of seeing an e-cigarette ad, warned researchers in a new study published March 26, in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study focused on teens who had never used tobacco products and had indicated they would “definitely not” smoke e-cigarettes in the next year.

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Nearly 11,000 teens and young adults ages 12 to 24 were surveyed from 2013 to 2014, then again from 2014 to 2015.

Researchers noted youth who had never used tobacco products, but were receptive to e-cigarette ads during the first survey period, were significantly more likely to have vaped by the second followup period.

These were teens who said they were committed to not using tobacco products. Yet, one year later they were vaping alongside their peers. These teens were also more likely to use conventional cigarettes by the second followup.

Research indicates e-cigarettes may be just as addictive as traditional cigarettes and the prevalence of the candy-like flavorings increase the risk youth may try smoking tobacco cigarettes. It is the most popular form of tobacco use among the nations youth.

In fact, the findings of the new study indicated 36% of 12 to 17 year olds who had never used tobacco were receptive to e-cigarette ads and ended up trying them by the end of the study.

Researchers compiled a copy of every ad for cigarettes, vapes and e-cigarettes for 2013. They randomly selected 20 ads and assigned them to each person to determine if they liked the ad and how receptive they were to it.

Nearly two-thirds of 18 to 21 year olds  were receptive to vaping ads, while 44% of 12 to 14 year olds were receptive to e-cigarette ads. That is nearly half of teens surveyed indicating they are receptive or open to e-cigarette ads.

Another recent study concluded e-cigarette advertising reaches 80% of middle and high school students in the United States.

Researchers said the participants of the new study were selected because they answered the survey questions in a way that indicated they were at low risk of using tobacco. They said they had “never” used tobacco in any form and “definitely” would not in the next year.

Approximately 5% of the teens who tried e-cigarettes for the first time said ads for e-cigarette products appealed to them more than ads for regular cigarettes.

That equates to 224,000 new smokers every year, which would lead to an entirely new generation of smokers. And the rising nicotine levels in e-cigarettes may play a huge role in that outcome.

Overall, if a teen or young adult was “receptive” to the ad, they were 60% more likely to try e-cigarettes within a year, exposing them to toxic chemicals and carcinogenic compounds as well as putting them at risk for a slew of negative health effects, including respiratory problems and oral cancer.


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