Do young users of noncigarette tobacco products progress to conventional cigarettes?

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Data were included for 10,384 participants (aged 12 to 17 years at baseline) from waves 1 (Sept. 12, 2013, to December 14, 2014) and 2 (Oct. 23, 2014, to October 30, 2015) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study.

At the beginning of the study period, the teens, ages 12-17, had not smoked a cigarette, and a year later, a majority of them were still not tobacco users.

They said: 'Any use of e-cigarettes, hookah, non-cigarette combustible tobacco, or smokeless tobacco was independently associated with cigarette smoking one year later'. This includes prohibiting all forms of tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaping, and e-cigarettes inside buildings and on campus grounds, entryways, and parking lots and structures, as well as in vehicles. The results showed that teens who used e-cigarettes, hookahs, or non-cigarette tobacco were twice as likely to have smoked cigarettes within the past 30 days at the one-year follow up.

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"Approximately 90 percent of adult smokers first tried a cigarette by 18 years of age, and even infrequent smoking in adolescence is associated with established adult smoking", the team writes. Ultimately, lower engagement could mitigate the future population burden of tobacco use by reducing the number of adolescents who initiate tobacco use and increasing the number who quit.

Teens who had tried more than one type of tobacco product at baseline had an adjusted odds ratio of 3.81 (95% CI 2.22-6.54) for past 30-day cigarette smoking at follow-up than did baseline never-users of tobacco products.

Even though fewer teens are smoking cigarettes, vaping is growing increasingly popular, with 17 percent of 12th-graders reporting using some sort of vaping device (either with nicotine, a flavored liquid or marijuana) past year, compared to 13 percent in 2016, according to the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, based at the University of California-San Francisco. Health experts in Britain view e-cigarettes as a crucial tool in the fight against tobacco, and previous year Public Health England even endorsed the devices. Participants were also asked if they had ever used non-cigarette tobacco products.

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In Utah, about 15.5 percent of high school seniors reported using e-cigarettes in 2017, according to the state Department of Health.

"They can communicate to their children that they disapprove of all tobacco products because all of them carry significant risk for getting addicted and perhaps suffering adverse health consequences", Wills said by email.

The newly reported analysis of the PATH data was unique because of its large size and the inclusion of both e-cigarette and non-e-cigarette tobacco products in the assessment of smoking risk.

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In 2016, the FDA banned the sale of e-cigarettes and other such products to anyone younger than 18.

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