Non-Cigarette Tobacco Use Tied to Future Cigarette Use in Teens

Kenny Tucker
January 12, 2018

Using multiple products increased the chances. The research is based on data from the participants of the nationally representative Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study.

Recently Dr. Samir Soneji from Dartmouth University and co-workers analyzed data from almost 12,000 adolescents to understand the extent of their online contact with tobacco products and the extent to which it may have affected their behavior. When the teens were asked once again about their use of tobacco, the responses were telling.

They said: 'Any use of e-cigarettes, hookah, non-cigarette combustible tobacco, or smokeless tobacco was independently associated with cigarette smoking one year later'. Their most frequent contacts included: signing up for email alerts; reading articles or watching videos online;, using a smartphone to scan a QR (Quick Response ) code about tobacco products to enter a sweepstakes or drawing from a tobacco company; and visiting a tobacco company website.

Teenagers who have used non-cigarette tobacco products are twice as likely to try conventional cigarettes within a year as those who have not, a new study finds. Although teens trying other tobacco products were more likely to smoke, the majority of new smokers after one year came from the group that had not tried tobacco at baseline. About 4 percent of teens had vaped at the start of the study, followed by 3 percent who had smoked a hookah, or water pipe, researchers report in JAMA Pediatrics.

The study, published Tuesday in JAMA Pediatrics from researchers at the University of California San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, comes amid a growing debate around e-cigarettes.

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"We've seen the prevalence of youth cigarette smoking decrease over the past 20 years, but the rising popularity of these non-cigarette products is a fairly recent development that poses new questions for tobacco control and youth smoking prevention", said lead study investigator, Benjamin Chaffee, PhD, of UCSF to CBS News.

Study Limitations: The study accounted for known risk factors of youth smoking but other unknown factors may have influenced study results. In order to get the powers that be to effect some sort of regulation of such contacts, one must have evidence that they do, in fact, affect young people's uptake and use of tobacco products. "The estimated health risks of non-cigarette tobacco products should include the addition health consequences of future cigarette use".

Last June, the University of Texas System became the first entirely tobacco-free university system in the state, officials said, and the largest single employer prohibiting tobacco use statewide.

Funding for this research was provided by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and FDA Center for Tobacco Products, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

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