E-cigarettes could help you quit smoking

Many youngsters in India who have taken to e-cigarettes are addicted to it and are slowly developing health issues.

Young people who described themselves as occasional smokers and had also tried e-cigarettes were almost twice as likely to try a traditional cigarette in the 12-month period compared with others who tried smoking but had never tried an e-cigarette (12.9% compared to 24.2%).

A total of 2,836 adolescents aged 14 and 15 were surveyed for the research, published in the journal Tobacco Control.

When the data was narrowed to just heavy smokers, there was a 7 percent reduction in smoking risk, and when prices were increased there was a 35 percent reduction in the average number of cigarettes they smoked per day - compared to 19 percent less in the overall smoking population.

E-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking for teenagers, new research suggests.

A British study into smoking and e-cigarette use among United Kingdom teenagers has produced mixed results, prompting scientists to caution against altering policy decisions or public health advice until evidence becomes clearer.

Researchers wrote: 'These data indicate that e-cigs should not be considered safe and that they induce significant deleterious effects'. "Whether through smoking tobacco or sucking on an e-cigarette, nicotine affects brain functioning by increasing dopamine concentrations", said Dr V Ranjith, thoracic specialist, Government Hospital of thoracic medicine.

Among those who had never smoked cigarettes but had tried e-cigarettes at baseline, a third (34.4%) said that they had tried cigarettes 12 months later compared with only 9% in the group who had not tried e-cigarettes at baseline. Youngsters feel that e-cigarettes are comparatively less harmful than tobacco. "As these rechargeable e-cigarettes can be used by multiple users, they also communicate infections among them", said Dr Prasanna Kumar, senior pulmonologist at Fortis Malar Hospital.

Looked at another way, the single strongest predictor of someone in the survey having quit smoking was daily e-cigarette use.

The evidence also showed that e-cigarettes heightened the chances of teenagers who already had a history of smoking increasing their tobacco consumption.

Despite attempts to account for a broad range of potential influences, there may be other as yet unexplored factors that are responsible, they add.

Linda Bauld, a professor of health policy at the University of Stirling, said the study did not provide evidence that using e-cigarettes causes young people to become smokers.

"The UK has introduced strong regulatory measures in this regard". This could translate to becoming a nicotine habit that encourages users to smoke cigarettes in the coming years.

  • Aubrey Nash