A new study has found that youngsters using flavored tobacco are more at risk of switching to tobacco in the latter stages of life. The study has been published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
About 12,000 youngsters and nearly 26,000 adults in US were analyzed for the study. The data was collected over the period from 2013-2014 and then in 2014-2015 to find out the number of people who started using flavored tobacco and then continued its use after a year. The participants were asked by the researchers about flavored as well as unflavored tobacco which includes cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigarillos, pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco and hookah tobacco. Flavored products include sweet flavors, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, fruit, candy, spice, clove, menthol or mint.
Dr. Andrea Villanti, lead author who is also an associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at University of Vermont said that flavors in tobacco make the users at high risk of using them further in the future and that this was not limited to just one product alone. Researchers said that that youth aged between 12-17 years and of 18-24 years were found to be more likely to try flavored products than the older adults. It was found that 12.1% of the youth, 27.6% of the young adults and about 8.3% of the adults who never used tobacco products became their new users. People who used flavored products initially in the first phase of the study continued regular use of these products in the second phase as well when compared to people who used non-flavored products.
Reports said that the usage of flavored e-cigarettes among the youth as been increasing since the year 2014 and an increase among middle-school students were found since the year 2015. The director of adolescent substance use and addiction program at the Boston’s Children’s Hospital, Dr. Sharon Levy said that kids have told her that they start using these products because they are tempted by their flavors. Levy said that these findings can become good place to start something good and can influence the conversations on the ban of flavored products.