Teens who vape are more likely to start smoking tobacco, study finds

The e-cigarettes are targeted at the more affluent sections as each instrument costs between Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 in India

According to the report, it is suggested that use of e-cigarettes portrays a better image of the user which could ultimately encourage people who had never smoked to try them.

'It is impossible to say if these young people were just experimenting with cigarettes or were becoming more regular smokers'.

"While acknowledging that a causal relationship may be plausible, we can not confirm this based on our findings and the trends observed over the same time period in the United Kingdom; rates of e-cigarette use have increased, but the rates of cigarette use have continued to decline".

"Our findings suggest that frequent e-cigarette use may play an important role in cessation or relapse prevention for some smokers", Daniel Giovenco, an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the lead study author, said in a statement.

That figure compared with 9% who tried a cigarette within the same 12 months but had never tried an e-cigarette.

The analysis was published online this week in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Some had tried tobacco but the vast majority were non-smokers.

But smokers who were only occasional users of e-cigarettes were less likely to quit smoking cigarettes.

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This challenges the idea that the vapers would have tried tobacco anyway, whether or not e-cigarettes were available.

The study builds on previous observational research suggesting that e-cigs could help smokers quit.

Th researchers wrote: "We showed that ever use of e-cigarettes is associated with initiation of cigarette use; an effect that remains when controlling for various predictors of smoking".

Researchers found not only that smokers were 20 percent more likely to quit smoking if the price of a pack of cigarettes increased by a dollar, but there was a 3 percent overall reduction in smoking risk.

"Older adult smokers have been smoking for a long time and tend to have lower rates of smoking cessation compared to younger populations, suggesting deeply entrenched behavior that is hard to change", Stephanie Mayne, a former doctoral student at Drexel and now a fellow at Northwestern University, said in a press release.

Since the research began, a new generation of vaping devices has come on to the market that more closely mimic cigarettes, the researchers pointed out.

Professor Kamran Siddiqi, another member of the team from the University of York, said: "Our study highlights the value of regulating marketing and sale of e-cigarettes to adolescents".

It has been illegal since October 2015 for retailers in the United Kingdom to sell e-cigarettes or vaporising liquids to anyone under 18.

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