E-cigarette use soars among NY high school students

Wayne Wilson Getty Images

Wayne Wilson Getty Images

Public health researchers from the University at Buffalo and the University of MI said evidence does not support claims from federal officials that vaping leads to cigarette smoking and is sparking a public health crisis among the youth.

"The national trends in vaping and cigarette smoking do not support the argument that vaping is leading to smoking", says Lynn Kozlowski, the paper's lead author and a professor of community health and health behavior in UB's School of Public Health and Health Professions.

The pair note misleading statements from researchers linking e-cigarettes to smoking misrepresent what the actual data is showing.

But now scientists claim this is just a myth - and that evidence to even suggest such a link is "weak".

The smoking rate among high school students across the state was the lowest on record in 2016, but state Health Department data singals a dramatic increase in e-cigarette use. "None of the studies was created to be able to follow up smoking intensity at a later date".

And the constant focus on the potential risks of e-cigarettes to children has caused many to become confused over the dangers.

She also pointed to the fact that many have avoided looking into details of e-cigarette flavourings that contain no nicotine. Moreover, they said informed regulations on e-cigarette marketing and pricing can help deter youths from starting to vape.

Anthony Billoni, director of Tobacco-Free Western New York at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said anti-smoking programs have made significant strides in reducing cigarette use among young people.

Warner adds that in one study, only four e-cigarette users who previously hadn't smoked reported smoking cigarettes when measured again at a later time.

In 2015, the Democratic-led Assembly passed a bill to ban e-cigarette use indoors, but it was rejected in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Many people assume vaping encourages people to smoke cigarettes.

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