Are E-cigarettes a new route to nicotine addiction for kids?

'We are witnessing the beginning of a new phase of the nicotine epidemic and a new route to nicotine addiction for kids,' says Stanton A. Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF. Sungkyu Lee and team analysed smoking habits of over 75,000 young Koreans aged between 13 and 18 years. Four out of five e-cigarette users were found to use tobacco as well. E-cigarette users were also more likely to have tried to quit smoking, possibly using the devices to help. The study highlights the likelihood that e-cigarettes may create a new pathway to nicotine addiction and reduce the odds that an adolescent will stop smoking conventional cigarettes. Interestingly, Korea has also seen a very rapid rise from less than one percent of youths having tried the product in 2008 when the device was first introduced, compared to more than nine percent in 2011. This reflects statistics from the USA where the majority of adolescent e-cigarette users also smoke regular cigarettes, and the percentage of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. 'Our paper raises serious concern about the effects of the Wild West marketing of e-cigarettes on youth,' said Glantz.