The national questionnaire data showed that 10,384 adolescents (ages 12 to 17) who reported never having smoked a conventional cigarette at baseline (2013-2014) and completed one-year follow-up (2014-2015).
‘The usage of non-cigarette tobacco products was more likely to promote the usage of conventional cigarettes by adolescents, but other factors should also be considered for the use of conventional cigarettes.’
The use of electronic cigarettes, hookahs, non-cigarette combustible tobacco or smokeless tobacco at baseline (exposures); conventional cigarette use at follow-up (outcome) were monitored.
This is a cohort study, which is a type of observational study. Because researchers are not intervening for purposes of the study they can use statistics to control for some of the differences between groups that could explain the study findings, but they cannot control for all of those differences.
Benjamin W. Chaffee, D.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and co-authors undertook this study.
Although electronic cigarettes are the most common form of non-cigarette tobacco used by young people, any use of all forms of non-cigarette tobacco was associated with a greater risk of future conventional cigarette smoking.
Adolescents who started using tobacco with non-cigarette products were more likely to have smoked conventional cigarettes within one year than young people who had never used tobacco. Adolescents who used multiple tobacco products were even more likely to start smoking conventional cigarettes.
The study accounted for known risk factors of youth smoking but other unknown factors may have influenced study results.
The study concludes that strategies should be aimed at preventing young people from starting to smoke conventional cigarettes should also be extended to other tobacco products.