Vaping is on the rise among teens as they try electronic cigarettes out of curiosity about the devices continue to keep vaping because of the low cost, a study released Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics stated. The study comes as new regulations on e-cigarettes set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are set to come into effect this week.
The report said that researchers have found some of the reasons that prompt teenagers to try e-cigarettes, which heat liquids typically laced with nicotine to deliver vapor. The most likely cause is the low-cost of the battery-operated devices as compared to that of regular supplies for combustible cigarettes. According to various vaping industry estimates, savings can add up to thousands of dollars a year for an average smoker. However, the expense also depends on the brand and state cigarette taxes.
The study, led by Yale School of Medicine professors, also found the convenience of vaping in places where smoking is banned triggers the rise. The study was based on surveys in two middle schools and three high schools in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014. About 340 of the 2,100 students surveyed had used e-cigarettes.
More than half the youths surveyed stated that they tried the devices out of curiosity, 41.8 percent cited "good flavors" and almost a third because their friends used them. About a quarter of the students believed that vaping was healthier than traditional cigarettes.
"The younger the kids were when they started, the more likely they were to keep using them," Krysten W. Bold, a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Medicine and one of the authors of the report, said. "If we could identify early who would still be using e-cigs six months from now, we could intervene at that early stage," Bold said.
The researchers of the study wanted to shed light on the growing popularity of the devices, despite warnings about their potential health risks.
On Monday, FDA's new regulations would ban the purchase of tobacco-related products, including e-cigarettes, hookahs and cigars, to anyone below the age of 18. Other guidelines related to e-cigarettes will also be put into effect.