Report: Peer pressure helping to drive e-cigarette use among teens

Teen using e-cig

Arrrgghhh, this makes my head explode.

A University of Southern California study published in Pediatrics states that teens are being encouraged to use e-cigs by the fact that all of their friends are using e-cigs. Banging … my … head … on … my … desk ….

They study, which included a survey of more than 2,000 teens, states that about 40 percent of the kids using e-cigs have never smoked a cigarette.  Moreover, it showed how important peer pressure is for affecting how many kids use e-cigs. More than one-third — 34 percent — of teen e-cig users have other e-cig users at home or among their friends.

From the Good Morning America article:

Adolescents who have three or four of their closest friends who used e-cigarettes were 104 times as likely than those with no friends who currently used e-cigarettes, to be a current e-cigarette user themselves,” says Jessica Barrington-Trimis, research associate at the University of Southern California and the study’s lead author. “So that’s a very strong finding.”

One of the biggest drags about e-cigs (No pun intended) is that it took 20-30 years of work to convince kids that smoking was not “cool” or “hip,” or whatever. And now all that work seems to be becoming undone by kids simply choosing a different nicotine delivery system. Granted, e-cigs may not be quite as bad as cigarettes, but they are still pumping kids full of nicotine, an incredibly addictive and not benign substance.

From the article:

E-cigarettes often contain nicotine, so they may induce sort of a psychological dependency on nicotine and then may lead to future cigarette use,” Barrington-Trimis explained. “Or, e-cigarettes may lead to the normalization of smoking behaviors and that’s the normalization that we’re concerned with.”

“We don’t want to see smoking normalized again,” said Delaware State Representative Debra Heffernan, a prime sponsor of a passed bill that bans smoking e-cigarettes indoors. “You used to never see it and now I’ve seen people smoking them while standing in line at Starbucks or in a store. It’s just scary that it has become so popular so quickly.”


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