News / Health

Study: Teens' E-Cigarette Use Promotes Heavy Tobacco Use

FILE - A woman smokes an e-cigarette, an electronic substitute in the form of a rod, slightly longer than a normal cigarette.
FILE - A woman smokes an e-cigarette, an electronic substitute in the form of a rod, slightly longer than a normal cigarette.
Jessica Berman
According to the first-ever study on the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, by young people, researchers have found that the devices, marketed as an alternative to real cigarettes, appear to fuel heavy smoking among youth. 
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that look like cigarettes and deliver a smokeless aerosol of nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. They are promoted as a safer alternative to cigarettes and an aid to stopping smoking. 
 
However, a new study looking at the use of electronic cigarettes in nearly 76,000 Korean teenagers found they are less likely to have succeeded in kicking the habit and that electronic cigarettes made them heavier smokers.
 
Stan Glantz directs the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco.  He is also the senior author of the study. 
 
Glantz said that while there is evidence electronic cigarettes help a small percentage of adult smokers stop, the same is not true for adolescents, who he says are being bombarded with appealing ads. 
 
“They are being marketed with flavors, with images of sex and independence, and also marketed with the claim they will help you quit smoking and, in fact, the kids who are trying to quit smoking were more likely to be using e-cigarettes. But, as I said before, [they are] much less likely to actually quit,” said Glantz. 
 
Glantz said that the nicotine in e-cigarettes makes them addictive even though users do not inhale as many toxic chemicals. He also claimed that tobacco companies, which manufacture the devices, take advantage of the lack of regulation of e-cigarettes to try to hook new smokers. 
 
“We have the kind of Wild West marketing that we did in the bad old days for cigarettes. And the kids are clearly responding to that, and youth use of e-cigarettes in Korea is going up very rapidly just as it did here in the United States,” said Glantz.
 
U.S. regulators report the number of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes doubled from 2011 to 2012, to a total of 1.7 million students. 
 
Regulations to ban the smokeless devices are being proposed in Chicago, which may become the first U.S. city to restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes.
 
The article on e-cigarette use among Korean teens is published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs