Smoking: From Parent Smokers to Teen Vapers

According to a recent study, teens are more likely to try vaping if their parents are smokers.

  Smoking: From Parent Smokers to Teen Vapers

As we know, growing up children tend to imitate what their parents do, even if it means endangering their health. Indeed, a recent study, conducted by researchers at the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland (TFRI) in Dublin, and recently presented during the International Congress of the European Respiratory Society in Barcelona on September 4, looked at the topic of smoking among adolescents . According to their research, youth with smoking parents are more likely to ever try e-cigarettes (about 55%) or start smoking (about 51%) .

To obtain these results, the scientists interviewed more than 6,200 young Irish people, aged 17 to 18. The participants were asked in particular whether their parents smoked during their childhood, and whether they themselves had become smokers. Other studies, long before, have also shown that there is a correlation between parents' smoking and the likelihood that their children will follow suit. This new study shows that having parents who smoke can also be a factor in initiating vaping .

Young people increasingly tempted by e-cigarettes

The TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland research team went further by analyzing data from other national surveys of more than 10,000 young Irish people, aged 16-17. They noticed that the number of young people having tried at least once a electronic cigarette increased from 23% in 2014 to 39% in 2019 . 66% of them explain that they tried this experience simply because they were curious, or because their friends are already vaping (29%).

A trend which carries certain dangers and which does not only concern Irish teenagers. TFRI Chief Executive Luke Clancy explains: 'We've seen an increasing use of e-cigarettes among Irish teenagers and it's a trend happening elsewhere in the world. It feels like vaping is a better alternative to smoking, but our research shows it doesn't. does not apply to adolescents who generally have not tried traditional cigarettes before e-cigarettes.This indicates that, for adolescents, vaping is a gateway to nicotine addiction, rather than a means to get out.'

The dangers of e-cigarettes on health

Contrary to what one might think, e-cigarettes with nicotine are anything but harmless . The health hazards have been clearly established. 'The effects of nicotine addiction are well established, and we are finding that e-cigarettes can harm the lungs, blood vessels and brain. We need to do more to protect children and adolescents from these harmful effects' , Jonathan Grigg, chair of the tobacco control committee of the European Respiratory Society, told our colleagues at Health Magazine . The World Health Organization has also confirmed this in a statement dated May 25, 2022.