Teen vaping rise may lead to future cigarette addiction, study shows

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics reported e-cigarette use among high school students sky-rocketed nearly 900 percent between 2011 and 2014.

"Forty percent of 10th graders in the United States have vaped," Dr. Adam Leventhal of USC's Health, Emotion, & Addiction Lab said.

"We think that there may be something about the experience of puffing on something and enjoying the sensations in your lung that might make you more inclined to try smoking," he said.

Of the 3,000 10th graders studied in Los Angeles County, .7 percent who never vaped went on to become cigarette smokers.

However, 20 percent who vaped frequently went on to become frequent smokers.

"Once you start cigarettes, they're pretty addictive," Leventhal stated.

Leventhal acknowledged the decline in teen smoking over the years but showed concerned for the future impact of teen vaping.

"Most experts are going to agree that most teens shouldn't use e-cigarettes, they shouldn't use nicotine products," he stated. "We need a lot more research to try to understand why this could be happening and what the consequences are."

Nikk from VapeMastaz in Pasadena agreed more study is needed and has helped recruit study patients for USC.

He said vaping helped him quit a nearly 20-year addiction to cigarettes and now hopes to eventually quit e-cigs as well.

"Once that craving and anxiety kinda goes away, I'm off of vaping," Nikk said.

Nikk believes vaping helps people quit smoking cigarettes and supports keeping e-cigs out of the hands of minors.

"Find an alternative hobby," he said. "Just because your friends are doing it doesn't mean you have to do it."
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