Published by Oxford University Press, this new study has indicated what many anti-tobacco experts have been insisting on for years: smoking is not a consequence of teen vaping, but rather its likely entirely attributable to a pre-existing propensity to smoke.
“My study accounts for this pre-existing propensity to use tobacco using advanced statistics, and shows that e-cigarette use has little to no effect on conventional smoking.” Arielle Selya
Conducted by researchers in the US, where panic surrounding teen vaping is ever expanding, the study examined the relationship between vaping and cigarette smoking using statistical modelling to adjust rigorously for 14 shared risk factors. The risk factors included parental education and smoking, peer smoking, impulsivity, delinquent behavior, mood disorders and the use of alcohol, marijuana, and/or illicit substances. Data were extracted from 2015 and 2016 surveys on 8th and 10th graders across the US.
The results indicated that prior to adjusting for the nominated shared risk factors, those who had ever used an e-cigarette were approximately 17 times more likely to have ever smoked or be currently smoking regular cigarettes. Similarly, prior to adjusting for the same shared risk factors, respondents who had never used e-cigarettes were 22 times more likely to have ever smoked smoked and 16 times more likely to be currently smoking.
“After accounting for the propensity for using e-cigarettes based on 14 risk factors, both lifetime and current e-cigarette use significantly increased the risk of ever smoking a conventional cigarette (OR = 2.49, 95% CI = 1.77 to 3.51; OR = 2.32, 95% CI = 1.66 to 3.25, respectively). However, lifetime (OR = 2.17, 95% CI = 0.62 to 7.63) and current e-cigarette use (OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.55 to 1.63) did not significantly increase the risk of current conventional cigarette smoking,” said the study authors.
The risk factors that lead to teen smoking, also lead to teen vaping
The study concluded that e-cigarette use does not seem to be associated with current and continued smoking, rather the link between the two stems from the shared risk factors.
“It is very difficult statistically to tease apart the pure effects of e-cigarettes from that of other shared risk factors, when looking at the impacts on conventional cigarette smoking,” said study author, Arielle Selya.
“My study accounts for this pre-existing propensity to use tobacco using advanced statistics, and shows that e-cigarette use has little to no effect on conventional smoking. Further research should be conducted to handle this issue very carefully, and current recommendations and policies about e-cigarettes should be re-evaluated,” concluded Selya.
Read Further: Medical Press