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E-Cigarette Use and Regular Cigarette Smoking Among Youth: Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (2013–2016)

      Introduction

      This study examines the association between current e-cigarette use at baseline and regular cigarette smoking at follow-up among U.S. youth.

      Methods

      A longitudinal analysis of youth (aged 12–17 years) data from Waves 1–3 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (2013–2016) was conducted between January 2019 and December 2019. Youth who reported past-30-day current e-cigarette use at baseline were identified and followed for regular cigarette smoking (≥20 days) at follow-up.

      Results

      Compared with noncurrent e-cigarette users at baseline, current e-cigarette users (cigarette nonsmokers) had 5.0 (95% CI=1.9, 12.8) times higher odds of becoming regular cigarette smokers 1 year later. Additionally, there was a direct linear relationship between the number of days of e-cigarette use at baseline and the number of days of cigarette smoking 1 year later.

      Conclusions

      Current e-cigarette use among U.S. youth is associated with higher odds of transitioning to regular cigarette smoking, likely reflecting robust transitions rather than experimentation. These results suggest that promoting e-cigarettes as the current practice for tobacco harm reduction will likely have the unintended consequence of initiating youth cigarette smokers.
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