Research Shows Teens Using E-Cigarettes May be More Likely to Start Using Traditional Ones Too

In recent years, scientists have debated whether e-cigarettes will help smokers quit, or will rather act as a gateway to tobacco smoking. Due to these concerns, the FDA is banning the sale of e-cigs to minors this summer.

In light of this debate, a survey of about 300 11th and 12th grade students was conducted. It found that teens who had never smoked, but who had used e-cigaretts, were substantially more likely to begin smoking traditional cigarettes over the next year. Of those studied initially, 146 had used e-cigarettes before and 152 had never tried them. None had smoked cigarettes. But 16 months later, the researchers found that 40% of e-cigarette users had begun smoking traditional cigarettes. This was compared to the 11% who had started smoking and had never used e-cigarettes. The study authors determined that the e-cig users were just over six times more likely to have tried smoking than teens who weren't using e-cigs.

The study's lead author, postdoctoral researcher Jessica Barrington-Trimis, is worried that the e-cig trend may erode the progress that has been made in tobacco control over the last few decades. Others criticize the authors' interpretation of the study, stating that "this one just shows that people who try things, try things." To read more about the article, head to CBS News