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E-cigarette use in young adults increases significantly in U.S.

The headline from the research study is that e-cigarette use has jumped by 46.2 percent among young adults in one year. The inference from the USC study is that vaping industry is making inroads among 18- to 24-year-olds, in a similar way to the way it has among teenagers.

E-cigarettes have been a controversial product since they were launched, as Digital Journal has reported. Some see vaping devices as an effective means to draw people away from traditional cigarettes and reduce some ill-health associated diseases (such as lung cancer). Others, like the World Health Organization take the view that the chemicals in e-cigarettes and the unknown, with potential adverse effects on the lungs.

Plus many health promotion campaigners raise the issue that many people are taking up e-cigarettes although they have not smoked traditional tobacco products before. There is a trend within the sector where companies that have traditionally produced cigarettes to diversify into producing e-cigarettes, keeping the nicotine fix.

Commenting on the new research, Adam Leventhal, professor of preventive medicine and psychology said: “We know that sales of ‘pod-mod’ style e-cigarette products, such as JUUL, with high nicotine concentrations and fruit and minty flavors, are climbing. Young adults overwhelmingly prefer e-cigarette flavors not present in regular cigarettes.” The researcher is concerned with vaping-related lung injuries and deaths related to adolescents and young adults.

The data was drawn from 115,556 people, including 13,452 young adults aged 18-24 The findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (“Prevalence of e-Cigarette Use Among Adults in the United States, 2014-2018”).

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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