(Reuters Health) – Teens who use e-cigarettes may be twice as likely to smoke pot as their peers who never try vaping, a U.S. study suggests.
The results, from surveys of more than 10,000 youth ages 12 to 17, add to earlier evidence suggesting that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to smoking tobacco and experimenting with drugs. In the current study, younger teens aged 12 to 14 were 2.7 times more likely to smoke pot once they tried vaping, while the odds of marijuana use were 1.6 times higher for older adolescents who used e-cigarettes.
While the study wasn’t designed to prove whether or how vaping might directly lead to marijuana use, it’s easy to see how one bad habit might lead to another, said lead study author Hongying Dai of Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“The brain is still developing during the teen years, nicotine exposure might lead to changes in the central nervous system that predispose teens to dependence on other drugs of abuse,” Dai said by email.
“Experimenting with e-cigarettes might…