The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) surveyed students in grades 6-12 with results suggesting that most middle and high school students in the country believe e-cigarettes are less harmful and far less addictive than traditional cigarettes.
The surveys were conducted in 2012 and again in 2014, and also found that participants considered smokeless tobacco products and cigars to be in the middle ground of perceived harm, with cigarettes and e-cigarettes on opposing sides of the spectrum.
“In 2014, almost three quarters said e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, while only 26 percent said the same for cigars and 20 percent said the same for smokeless tobacco,” reads an article published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The article also states that, “Regarding addictiveness, almost half said e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes, compared to 14 percent for smokeless tobacco and 31.5 percent for cigars.”
While these students may not necessarily be wrong in their assumptions, experts are still concerned that their blasé attitudes towards vapor products could lead a new generation down a path to nicotine addiction.
“…concern exists that these products are making smoking seem ‘cool’ again—that they are being re-normalized,” said Dr. Stephen M. Amrock, of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
“Children and parents need to understand that these products contain nicotine and are potentially harmful, both now and down the line,” Amrock added.
For the full story click here to read the article published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.