Using tobacco products before adulthood increases risk of chronic smoking

Using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, before the age of 18 is a major contributor to becoming daily cigarette smokers, according to a University of California San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science report.

Researchers studied data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. The study was a sampling of 12 to 24-year-olds interviewed between 2013 and 2014 and were re-interviewed annually for four years.

During the first year, 45 percent of participants had used at least one tobacco product. This increased to 62 percent by the fourth year, and 12 percent used tobacco products daily. Of those who used daily, 50 percent became daily users after the first year, 17 percent were vaping, and 63 percent used cigarettes exclusively. Half of those who vaped also used cigarettes, just not daily.

Of those who ever tried tobacco, more than10 percent tried cigars, filtered cigars, smokeless products, pipes, and snus; 72 percent had tried e-cigarettes; 73 percent had tried cigarettes.

Those who had tried five or more tobacco products increased the risk of daily cigarette use by 15 percent.

Melina Druga

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