A panel of public health experts has found that teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try #smoking, and devices that deliver nicotine can be addictive.
However, the experts said that e-cigarettes were less harmful than smoking.
The report comes from a panel at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, which assessed more than 800 peer-reviewed studies.
“E-cigarettes cannot be simply categorized as either beneficial or harmful,” said David Eaton, chair of the committee that wrote the report, and dean and vice-provost at the University of Washington.
“In some circumstances, such as their use by non-smoking adolescents and young adults, their adverse effects clearly warrant concern,” he said. “In other cases, such as when adult smokers use them to quit smoking, they offer an opportunity to reduce smoking-related illness.”
The report stopped short of calling vaping healthy. E-cigarettes produce fewer toxic substances than smoking, but there is “conclusive” evidence e-cigarettes “emit numerous potentially toxic substances” in addition to nicotine, it said.
The long-term impacts of the devices are unclear, and could veer negative, the report warned.
“There is substantial evidence that e-cigarette use by youth and young adults increases their risk of ever using conventional cigarettes,” the report states.