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Number of people attending stop smoking program rises amid high cigarette prices

12 January 2018

The research is based on data from the participants of the nationally representative Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study.

The cigarette uptake rate at one-year follow-up was four times higher among adolescents who used more than one non-cigarette tobacco product, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education wrote in JAMA Pediatrics, published online January 2. Additionally, polyuse of tobacco products was associated with a greater risk for cigarette smoking initiation (OR, 3.95; 95%CI, 2.65-5.90) and past 30-day cigarette use (OR, 3.81; 95%CI, 2.22-6.54).

More than 2 million middle- and high-school students tried e-cigarettes in 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a year ago, making this the most popular form of tobacco use among young people.

Chaffee also observed that all the different forms of non-cigarette tobacco explored in the study were linked to the same increase in risk of future cigarette smoking. Their most frequent contacts included: signing up for email alerts; reading articles or watching videos online;, using a smartphone to scan a QR (Quick Response ) code about tobacco products to enter a sweepstakes or drawing from a tobacco company; and visiting a tobacco company website.

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The researchers report that teens who had ever used e-cigarettes, hookah, other combustible products or smokeless tobacco at the baseline survey were two or three times as likely to be smoking cigarettes (in the past-30 days) one year later than those who had not tried any tobacco product.

The new law also bans the sale, advertising and promotion of electronic cigarettes, and the use of electronic cigarettes is under the same control for regular tobacco products. Health experts in Britain view e-cigarettes as a crucial tool in the fight against tobacco, and a year ago Public Health England even endorsed the devices.

They added that the study has direct implications for regulatory policy aimed at preventing youth smoking.

"They can communicate to their children that they disapprove of all tobacco products because all of them carry significant risk for getting addicted and perhaps suffering adverse health consequences", Wills said by email.

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"If our overall goal is to reduce cigarette use and the burden of disease from tobacco, we have to recognize that these products are encouraging young people to move on to cigarette use", Watkins told MedPage Today. That's important because cigarette smoking rates have gone down in teens, which could be seen as a win by health advocates.

In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to begin regulating all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, hookahs and cigars, as it does cigarettes.

"I think the FDA needs to be very careful about how they move forward with the message that these products might be useful for cessation", said McIntosh, who was not involved in the current study.

"As role models for public health in San Antonio, we're excited to improve the tobacco-free status and resources of UT Health San Antonio to help our faculty, staff, students, and visitors have the healthiest lives possible", Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez said.

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Number of people attending stop smoking program rises amid high cigarette prices