Teens who use e-cigarettes are twice as likely to say they intend to smoke tobacco cigarettes within the next year. That’s according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Michael Fiore of the UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention said it indicates a problem.
“One of the biggest concerns about e-cigarettes is that they will serve as a gateway drug to lifelong nicotine dependence, and all of the harms that we know result from smoking,” Fiore said.
The population tracked by the CDC included 6th graders up to 12th graders. “We know that the adolescent brain is very sensitive to nicotine, and use of e-cigarettes . . . puts these adolescents at risk of life-long nicotine addiction,” Fiore said.
The CDC found that more than 263,000 young people who had never smoked used an electronic cigarette last year – three times the 2011 number.