Scientists from the University of California San Diego found that more than 1 million United States youth aged 14 to 17 years old in 2017 became new daily tobacco users within two years.
They also found that by 2019, more than three-quarters of these youths were vaping e-cigarettes daily.
The research is published in Pediatrics and was conducted by John P. Pierce et al.
In the study, the team used data from two groups of youth and young adults ages 14 to 34 years: one with baseline survey data in 2014 before the surge of JUUL products, and the other in 2017 as the surge in JUUL sales was occurring.
In 2017, there was a 40% surge in e-cigarette sales in the United States, driven by JUUL products. The U.S. surgeon general labeled it an epidemic of youth vaping.
The team found this was also accompanied by an increase in new daily tobacco use, with 64.6% of new users occurring among youths aged 14 to 17.
Their analysis translates to 2,284 new underaged daily tobacco users each day between 2017 and 2019.
Furthermore, underaged new daily e-cigarette vapers had tobacco dependence scores that were similar to those of new daily cigarette smokers.
The team says given the recent evidence of the potential health consequences of vaping flavored e-cigarettes, this sharp rise among youth requires urgent public health attention and action.
E-cigarettes—battery-operated devices that heat a liquid made of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals to make an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs—were first sold in the United States in 2007.
A previous study from the team showed these non-traditional cigarettes have significant potential for later health consequences.
If you care about smoking, please read studies about smoking may increase heart disease risk by 200% and e-cigarette smoke may cause lung cancer, bladder disease.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about the cause of weight gain after smoking cessation, and results showing smoking may cause white scars on the brain.
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