Since putting the E-Cigarette issue onto the public policy agenda a number of new studies are showing that E-Cigarette usage has overtaken conventional smoking amongst teenagers.
Studies are also showing evidence that the developing adolescent brain is at increased risk of developing nicotine dependence and other addictions
Electronic cigarettes are now a $3 billion business with 466 brands that include candy flavoring and are increasingly popular among children, according to the World Health Organization.
The well-documented recent trend for increasing prevalence of E-Cigarette amongst our youth was confirmed in a study released this week that shows Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens in some jurisdictions.
Use increased with age: Some 16 percent of 10th-graders had tried an e-cigarette in the past month, and 17 percent of high school seniors. Regular smoking continued inching down, to 7 percent of 10th-graders and 14 percent of 12th-graders.
University of Michigan professor Richard Miech, a study senior investigator stated that between 4 percent and 7 percent of students who tried e-cigarettes said they'd never smoked a tobacco cigarette.
A 2012 study by Dutra and Glantz (2014a) reported an analysis based on cross-sectional survey data from adolescents in the USA. They used the data to investigate associations between the use of E-Cigs and regular cigarettes. The study showed that E-Cig use was associated with more rather than less cigarette smoking. Specifically, pooled analyses (comprising data from 2011 and 2012) revealed that:
- E-Cig users were more likely to also smoke regular cigarettes than non-users
- Current E-Cig use was positively associated with ever smoking cigarettes (OR = 7.42, 95% CI = 5.63 to 9.79)
- Current E-Cig use was positively associated with current cigarette smoking (OR = 7.88, 95% CI = 6.01 to 10.3)
The New England Journal of Medicine, add to the debate about the risks and benefits of electronic cigarettes by releasing a study early this year that stated that "Nicotine clearly acts as a gateway drug on the brain, and this effect is likely to occur whether the exposure comes from smoking cigarettes, passive tobacco smoke, or e-cigarettes,"
The use of nicotine by teenagers is a very obvious example of substance abuse. Please let your local MHA, the Premier and the Minister responsible for wellness know that you want our province to follow Ontario’s lead and ban the sale of e-cigarettes and related products to anyone under the age of 19.
Responsible marketers of e-cigarettes should enthusiastically support sale-to-minors bans without being required to do so.