Recent measures rising the established vaping age didn’t go as planned, as it actually increased the number of teens smoking rates, according to a recent study. Imposing age restrictions to people who were able to buy electronic nicotine devices or ENDS may have boosted teen smoking, said researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College.

The restrictions published on March 10 in Preventive Medicine include the increase in legal ages for purchasing electronic devices including e-cigarettes, vape pens and hookah pens. Vaping has proven to be a popular trend among teens in the United States.

Photo: Medical Daily
Photo: Medical Daily

As a result, some politicians and public health activist are condemning the use of vape pens and other ENDS for the possibility of attracting the kids’ attention or even hooking them on nicotine. And even if appears far-fetched that kids will hook on nicotine just by being surrounded by people vaping, it’s important to consider the vape pens can be used on facilities, unlike with cigarettes.

After studying the latest data, researchers from Cornell University have warned vaping users that restricting electronic cigarettes for younger teenagers could have an offset consequence. Even when e-cigarettes are considered to be 95 percent safer in comparison with regular cigarettes, researchers claim vaping could have unintended consequences and exposing teens to greater risks from tobacco.

According to investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine, the data showed an 11.7 percent increase in teen cigarette use after the new age restrictions for e-cigarettes were introduced in states between 2007 and 2013.

Apparently there’s only so many legislators can achieve by bringing bills to statehouses to raise vaping ages, as people are free to consume any tobacco product or in this case, electronic nicotine devices. In the study published in Preventive Medicine, the association suggests that ENDS may be a substitute for cigarettes among adolescents as they can buy it through an older friend online.

Although the restrictions filed by policymakers was intended to reduce the number of teens smoking or vaping, it backfired as it showed the restrictions may have driven teens to traditional cigarettes. In addition, the study led by Weill Cornell Medicine also investigated if vape pens purchasing laws affected the use of cigars, smokeless tobacco and marijuana among adolescents.

Source: Weill Cornell Medical College