Adolscents Who Try E-Cigs More Likely To Become Smokers

Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science Director, Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research on Health and Society University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA 15213MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science
Director, Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research on Health and Society
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Primack: Adolescents and young adults who have never smoked traditional cigarettes are now using e-cigarettes. It is unclear whether these people are at risk for progression to traditional cigarette smoking. Therefore, we followed 694 non-smokers ages 16-26 who did not intend on taking up smoking for 1 year.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Primack: At baseline, only 16 of the 694 participants had used e-cigarettes. However, those individuals were significantly more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes by the 1-year follow-up. In fully adjusted models, baseline e-cigarette use was independently associated with both progression to smoking (AOR = 8.3, 95% CI  = 1.2-58.6) and to susceptibility (AOR = 8.5, 95% CI = 1.3-57.2).

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Primack: Non-smokers who do not intend on cigarette smoking but do experiment with e-cigarettes are at substantial risk for progression to regular cigarette smoking.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Primack: It would be valuable to confirm these findings in nationally representative samples. It would also be interesting to qualitatively examine the reasons behind progression to cigarettes from e-cigarettes using in-depth interviews.

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Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD (2015). Adolscents Who Try E-Cigs More Likely To Become Smokers