In a recent study out of the University of Waterloo, researchers found that teens are now just as likely to try e-cigs, which create a vapour by heating a chemical solution, as they are to try smoking. Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are not approved for sale in Canada.
In the study, about 20 percent of teens ages 15 to 19, had tried vaping which is the same percentage who had had tried smoking.
The lead researcher did point out that vaping is considered less dangerous than smoking. “There is no question that e-cigarettes are a harmful consumer product because of all of the chemicals users inhale. However, because they don’t produce smoke, they are significantly less harmful than smoking,” said David Hammond, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at Waterloo in a statement.
Another study, out of Wales, United Kingdom, found evidence that kids ages 10 to 19 may like vaping more than smoking.
Vaping trumps smoking
This study found that trying an e-cigarette at least once was more common than having smoked a conventional cigarette among all age groups, except the oldest (15-16 year olds).
In the 15 and 16 year olds, 8 percent said they had used e-cigarettes, but had never smoked. The researchers suggest their study is evidence that vaping is not a path to smoking regular cigarettes.
And cigarette smokers appear to be picking up vaping at a fast rate, and not as a tool to quit smoking. The odds of regular e-cigarette use were 100 times higher among current smokers than among non-smokers, according to a statement from the researchers. What’s more, the odds of being a regular e-cigarette user was 50 times higher among those who had smoked marijuana.
A recent Ipsos Reid survey backs this up. It found that Canadian smokers who also use e-cigarettes still smoke on average 13.5 cigarettes per day – almost as many as tobacco-only smokers.
- 27 percent of smokers also use e-cigarettes
- 1 in 2 haven’t reduced their tobacco use since adding e-cigarettes
- 1 in 3 see it as a complement to smoking rather than a means to cut down
Read on for more about the safety of vaping and the latest research.