Report: Kids who use e-cigs 8 times more likely to smoke convent - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Report: Kids who use e-cigs 8 times more likely to smoke conventional cigarettes

(Toledo News Now) -

A new report published in Jama Pediatrics says kids who use E-cigarettes are six to eight times more likely to also use conventional cigarettes. 

Doctor Scott Frank, an addiction specialist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland says this study proves what experts have thought all along.

"Kids are getting trapped into the use of nicotine through E-cigarettes.  This study is important because it confirms what we suspected and that is that while E-cigarettes may be helpful for harm reduction for smoking adults it's actually a harm creator for adolescents," said Dr. Frank.

The study goes on to say that the use of E-cigarettes does not discourage, but may actually encourage the use of typical cigarette use with adolescents.  Dr. Frank calls both a nicotine delivery system.

"It would be somewhat parallel to a needle exchange program for heroin. You have a cleaner vehicle in which the drug is administered but you're still addicted to heroin with the needle exchange program.  And with E-cigarettes, it's a cleaner way to deliver nicotine but you're still addicted to nicotine," said Dr. Frank.  

But local advocates think they're getting a bad name.

"Some people have no clue, they've never smoked before," said Dean El-Joubeily owner of The Crave Cave in Toledo.

El-Joubeily says his company has always been against selling to minors but says many times teens get their hands on E-cigarettes through their parents.  He believes in some cases it can actually help them.

"From day one when we opened our business we posted signs that anybody under the age of 18 we will not serve them.  We see that on a regular basis where parents see their kids smoking, so now they would rather see their kids using the product that's not harmful to them instead of going and buying a pack of smokes," said El-Joubeily.

One of the big scares in the medical field is how popular electronic cigarettes are becoming, especially in young people. 

The battery powered devices were a two billion dollar industry last year and are on track to hit five billion this year.  Experts predict E-cigarettes could eventually overtake the tobacco industry, which generates eighty billion dollars annually.

Dr. Frank says marketing plays a huge part in the use by minor.

"What we're seeing is the outstanding marketing job that this industry is using.  They're seeking to capture as many different markets of youth as they can," said Dr. Frank.

Ohio Governor John Kasich recently signed a bill banning sales to those under 18.

Dr. Frank says this is just the first step at getting E-cigarettes out of the hands of minors. 

"Well I think the ban needs to take a number of different levels. There needs to be some monitoring of compliance to see whether in fact the retailers are going along with the ban," said Dr. Frank.

To see Dr. Frank's full interview click here. 

To read the study click here.

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