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Study: E-cigarette users 3 times more likely to become daily cigarette smokers

January 11, 2021

Teens who use e-cigarettes have a three times higher risk of becoming daily cigarette smokers compared to those who have never vaped, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed nationally representative data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study that included nearly 16,000 adolescents and young adults. The participants were 12-24 years of age at wave 1 in 2013 and were surveyed annually for four years. The findings were published today in “Use of E-cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products and Progression to Daily Cigarette Smoking,” (Pierce JP, et al. Pediatrics. Jan. 11, 2021.

The data showed:

  • 62% tried tobacco and 30% tried at least five tobacco products,
  • 45% tried cigarettes and 45% tried e-cigarettes,
  • 12% were daily tobacco users in year four and 70% of those were daily cigarette smokers,
  • 10% of youths who had ever used e-cigarettes became daily cigarette smokers compared to 3% of those who never used e-cigarettes,
  • the likelihood of becoming a daily cigarette smoker was six points lower for those who experimented with tobacco after age 18 compared to those who experimented at younger ages,
  • the more tobacco products participants used, the more likely they were to report daily cigarette smoking and
  • 21% of the 25- to 28-year-olds in year four were daily cigarette smokers, while 3% were daily vapers.

Authors said they are concerned about large numbers of youths experimenting with e-cigarettes at young ages.

“The recent large increase in e-cigarette users will likely reverse the decline in cigarette smoking among U.S. young adults,” they wrote.

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