KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — The rise in e-cigarette usage has not caused more British children to smoke tobacco or to perceive smoking as normal, a study showed.
The Guardian reported the study led by Cardiff University researchers, published in the journal Tobacco Control, found that the percentage of children aged from 13 to 15 who had smoked fell from 60 percent to 19 percent from 1998 to 2015, while regular smokers in the same age group decreased from 19 percent to 5 percent in the same period.
The percentage of youths who said that trying a cigarette was “OK” reportedly fell to 27 percent in 2015 from 70 percent in 1999, while marijuana and alcohol use also reportedly declined in the same period.
“These findings suggest that fears over a resurgence in youth tobacco smoking because of the rise in e-cigarette use are largely unfounded to date,” Dr Graham Moore from the Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement was quoted saying.
“The nature of e-cigarettes, and the landscape in which they are sold and used, continue to change rapidly, and we need to continue to keep a close eye on how they affect young people.
“However, this study demonstrates the success of public health efforts in reducing smoking among young people in the last 20 years and provides no evidence that e-cigarettes are reversing this.”
The research reported that young people who have not previously tried tobacco were increasingly experimenting with e-cigarettes, though regular use of e-cigarettes among them remained uncommon.
“The study shows there is nothing to fear from the growth of vaping,” Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, was quoted saying.
The research was based on three national surveys with participation of almost 250,000 youths in the UK.
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