The use of electronic cigarettes or vapes is considered less harmful than smoking. People tend to use vapes as it may assist them in the cessation of smoking. But in reality, for younger people, e-cigarettes may act as a gateway to move on to smoking.
A recent study found that the new generation which has never smoked before but has used vape is 5 times more likely to move on regular cigarettes.
Findings of seventeen studies were reviewed and analyzed by the investigators from the University of Bristol’s Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (TARG), with assistance from the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and the Bristol’s MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU) to know whether use and non-use of electronic cigarettes can later initiate cigarettes smoking in the young generation.
The detailed findings of the research are published in the journal “Tobacco Control“.
So far, many studies have investigated the association of the use of vape with smoking. Investigators assembled findings of seventeen studies and measured a peculiar result from these studies to assess whether in young generation smoking can be caused by the use of electronic cigarettes in non-smokers or not.
Jasmine Khouja, a doctoral scholar in TARG revealed that policymakers go through all the findings of all the studies and supported the regulation of the strict e-cigarette.
Jasmine further added that the finding is not as supportive as it might appear regarding the use of electronic cigarettes might urge the young generation to start smoking.
In the young adults who had used e-cigarettes but never smoked before are 4.5 times the likelihood to continue the use of electronic cigarettes in the future. Then investigators found many analytical problems with the studies and came to the conclusion that the use of vape increases the urge of young adults to adopt smoking.
Smoking could be initiated in non-smoker young adults due to the use of vape but there are some limitations of this evidence as there is no biochemical verification of electronic cigarette use and subsequent smoking.
Negative controls were not included in any of the studies. Negative controls are very efficient to provide the best evidence about the effect of the use of electronic cigarettes on subsequent smoking. Lack of negative controls suggests that it was only a casual observation. Investigators didn’t observe the intake of the nicotine content of electronic liquids by non-smokers. Nicotine intake can also drive the link between electronic cigarette use and subsequent smoking.
Investigators suggest that in the future investigations all the limitations of the previous studies should be addressed to assess whether young adults use e-cigarettes or smoke by using advanced statistical analyses and nicotine content of electronic cigarettes should also be considered.
In 2016 a meta-analysis study that includes the findings of 9 studies was accomplished to reveal that the use of electronic cigarettes among young adults who do not smoke can cause subsequent smoking or not and revealed that among young adults vape users were 4 times more likely to move on to smoking.
The study suggests that the use of e-cigarettes should be restricted among young adults.