A recent study promoted the idea that e-cigarettes are responsible for cigarette addiction in teenagers. Days after it was published, other members of the scientific community started commenting, denying the validity of the survey, accusing the authors of promoting misleading information.
What Was the Study About?
The initial study used a sample of approximately 1,000 high-schoolers enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade. None of the participants ever smoked a combustible cigarette. Almost half of them tried an e-cigarette.
After 16 months since the first round of interviews, the team tracked down the participants and asked them again about their smoking habits.
According to the study that was published on Monday in the on-line journal, Pediatrics, almost half of the teenagers that admitted to smoking electronic cigarettes were now struggling with a cigarette addiction.
The conclusions formulated by the team were that electronic cigarettes are only gateway nicotine delivery systems that eventually lead to cigarette addiction. They ended the paper by stating that the FDA was right when implementing the new measure that says minors are not allowed to buy electronic cigarettes on the territory of the United States.
The Reaction of the Medical Community
The study was not well received at all by the medical community. Many of the professionals specialized in cigarette addiction stated that the survey was too vague and that its conclusions are rash and incorrect.
According to Ann McNeil, a Tobacco Addiction Professor at London’s King’s College, the paper has some loopholes that cannot be ignored.
For once, the authors only mentioned that half of the surveyed adolescents used an e-cigarette. However, they didn’t specify if the device was used on a regular basis or if the teens only tried it once or twice in their life.
On the other hand, they never did any follow-ups. They just returned after 16 months and counted the adolescents that developed a smoking addiction.
However, that isn’t necessarily an indicator of the fact that electronic cigarettes can lead to the development of a smoking addiction. It just shows that the teenagers that are inclined to try one thing will ultimately be inclined to try the other one.
What the doctors are arguing is that electronic cigarettes are not to be blamed in the case of the teens that developed a smoking addiction, rather their entourage and their curious nature.
Electronic cigarettes have been deemed by previous studies as being the safest quitting or nicotine-delivery option on the market.
What do you think? Which side has the most compelling arguments? In the war between e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes who do you side with? Share your thoughts in the section below.
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