Canadian Journal Claims E-Cigarettes Cause High School Student Smoking

Canadian Journal Claims E-Cigarettes Cause High School Student Smoking

But rather than providing support for those who think e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking, the University of Waterloo researchers were quick to point out it's unclear whether one causes the other.

"The study concludes however by saying", The current study provides strong evidence that e-cigarettes are associated with initiation of cigarette smoking among youth; however, the controversy as to whether e-cigarette use "causes" cigarette-smoking initiation will undoubtedly persist.

What is Canada doing so wrong?

It seems to confirm an American study of Los Angeles students in 2015 that also found that youth who began with e-cigarettes went on to smoke conventional tobacco products. That's the kind of mystery that science can't help explain.

Instead, the survey shows only that 4,163 students in Grades 9-12 at 89 schools in Ontario and Alberta, Canada, who participated in the ongoing COMPASS study who used e-cigarettes in the 30 days prior to the start of the study were more likely to start smoking cigarettes and to continue smoking after 1 year.

But the researchers noted that the prevalence of smoking decreased slightly over time - so the impact of e-cigarettes on youth smoking rates may still be minimal. If anything, they are reducing smoking. A particular point of contention is whether e-cigarettes encourage young people to take up smoking.

He suggests it may be because Canadian merchants are unethical and sell vaping liquid to youths whereas the penalty for selling cigarettes is too high.

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Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society, said vaping by young people is of significant concern. They analyzed the responses of 44,163 students surveyed about their e-cigarette and cigarette use at baseline in 2013-2014, and 41,262 surveyed in a follow-up a year later.

The vaping "juice" is available in hundreds of different "flavours and while liquid containing actual nicotine can not be sold for e-cigarettes in conventional stores where the other liquid is sold, it is readily available both on-line and in specialty vape stores".

A man exhales e-cigarette vapour.

While he says young people should be discouraged from using nicotine, Dr. Stockwell, who was not involved in the study, believes e-cigarettes should be subsidized and people should receive prescription nicotine devices if they're chronic smokers.

"A lot of what we're seeing in our study and a lot of other studies out there is a simple fact, and that is the kids who do risky things, the ones that are more likely to try e-cigarettes are also more likely to try smoking", he said from Waterloo, Ont.

Non-nicotine e-cigarettes, which come in hundreds of flavours, do not require government approval to be sold and make up a large part of the market in Canada. Bill S-5, which would create new regulations governing e-cigarettes, was approved by the Senate in June and is now before the House of Commons.

The CMAJ is editorially independent from the Canadian Medical Association.

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