E-Cigarettes Have High Rate of Usage in Teen Market

    November 29, 2013
    Courtney Wills
    Comments are off for this post.

The results of an e-cigarette study at UC San Francisco were recently released. In the study, conducted by postdoctoral fellow Sungkyu Lee, researchers focused on the data obtained in a national Web-based survey of 75,643 adolescents in Korea. The survey data comes from the Korea Youth Risk Behavior research completed in 2011 by the Korea Centers for Disease Control.

In the study, Lee found that the usage of electronic cigarettes by adolescents in grades 7-12 has rapidly risen since the device was first introduced in 2008 – at that time, less than 1% of adolescents had tried the e-cigarette. By the study in 2011, more than 9% of the students studied had used, or regularly use, electronic cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes, dubbed “e-cigarettes,” are nicotine-releasing devices that are powered by batteries. While non-nicotine cartridges are available, most users of the device use cartridges that contain nicotine. They release other chemicals, as well, when the user inhales the nicotine vapor.

Since first hitting the market, the electronic devices have been hailed as being many times healthier than conventional cigarettes, although many doctors and experts debate that. The e-cigarettes have gained popularity, as well from Hollywood stars’ use of them.

In 2010, Katherine Heigl discussed her use of the device on Late Night with David Letterman. Heigl was a conventional cigarette smoker for many years, and decided to quit after adopting her daughter. However, all of the methods she tried were fruitless – until she found the e-cigarette. She does admit, though, that she is addicted to the electronic version of cigarettes now.

Lee’s study was the first to analyze electronic cigarette usage in adolescents, and he now works for the National Evidence-Based Healthcare Collaborating Agency in Korea.

The Korean study also indicated that 4 out of 5 adolescent users of the battery-powered cigarettes were also smokers of regular cigarettes.

Other interesting conclusions from the study show that the majority of adolescent e-cigarette users were either trying to quit smoking conventional cigarettes, or habitually smoke both conventional and e-cigarettes. It also showed that the use of electronic cigarettes in adolescents greatly increase the odds that the student will end up being a conventional smoker.

In the U.S., the federally-run Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted their own study, and reported that most adolescents who had tried the e-cigarette had also smoked regular cigarettes. As of 2012, more than 1.78 million teens and adolecents had tried smoking an electronic cigarette.

A professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF, Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, said, “We are witnessing the beginning of a new phase of the nicotine epidemic and a new route to nicotine addiction for kids,” according to Science Daily.

The entire study can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Main image courtesy gloriaricardi via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Tam

    Does this really surprise anyone? Anything you make taboo —– will flourish. Just look at America. Drugs are taboo and we are a nation of addicts. Sex is taboo and we are all about sex — we consume the most porn in the entire world. Flat out — whatever we make taboo — we flock to. Banning things rarely stops usage. It just creates a secondary underground market where people pay through the nose for things they want to do.

    But hey, you can go fight for your country and die …. but you can’t freely choose what to put in your own body. Someone has to tell you what is okay. Our children can die in needless wars, but we simply must protect them from alcohol and pot and e-cigarettes and sex. Heck, we send our kids to fight in wars against terrorists we created ourselves. But yes, that evil joint will be the doom of us all.

    Please. America the hypocrisy.

    But wait … there is profit in ….. wars ….. incarceration …….funding the CIA through drug busts …. heavily taxing things that are “bad” for us …… prison labor…… legalized drugs ……..gee, I wonder if this has anything to do with our attitudes?

  • Sal

    America is nothing but a hypocrisy — I agree. The sad part is Americans know this deep down inside. It is like 9/11. People know there is something wrong with what we are being told. I went to a convention and people were asked to sit and watch footage of the day. While watching footage, they were asked questions about what they saw. Questions that showed the official story was nonsense. People got angry and like little children, stormed out of the room. They simply did not want to see anything that contradicted what they were told. It wasn’t that what they were seeing was wrong. It was the fact they didn’t want to admit to themselves that they bought into a huge lie.

    Try this at home if you like. Invite a group of your friends over and watch the YouTube video by Jim Marrs on the Terror Conspiracy and 9/11. That is the title. Start asking questions. Watch people not be able to handle what they are seeing with their own two eyes. Have them look at the pentagon site and ask them to point out a plane. Point out debris. Let them see the difference in the size of the plane and the hole. Point it out. They won’t want to do it. Not because you are wrong —- they just don’t want to believe that our government could kill our own people. In fact, you may hear statements like …..”I just cant believe that they would …..” or “That can’t be true”. Notice they don’t use the words that “is not true” —- but rather, “it can’t be true”.

    America is in denial right now. It is waking up, but still many people are in denial. The rest of the world isn’t though. Travel abroad and see how differently they see things. Most of the world knows America is in deep trouble.

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    To be fair this is a regulated product. You have to be over 18 to buy e-cigs, in a store or online.

    Would there be as much outrage over a story that teens smoke regular cigarettes?

    The manufacturers already work to keep these out of the hands of kids. If something was really to be done, they would look at the retailers and how these products are being sold to under 18 year olds. Because they are breaking the law.