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Vape Pens Can Cause Others That Are Watching The Urge To Smoke, Study Shows

First Posted: Jan 17, 2017 04:30 AM EST
E-Cigarettes
A new study suggests that seeing someone using "vape pen" can trigger an urge to smoke. (Image for representation only.)
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

E-cigarettes are made to help smokers quit smoking. However, a current study shows that a type of e-cigarette called vape pen can influence the urge to smoke among the young adults as much as seeing someone smoke regular cigarettes.

Study author and director of the clinical addictions research laboratory at the University of Chicago Medical Center Andrea Kings said that the new e-cigarettes known as vape pens are now larger and more powerful. These have a low resemblance to cigarettes. Some people are hoping that they might not produce an urge to smoke.

King said in a university news release that the battery-operated vape pens look different. Also, they share too many silent features of the act of smoking. It includes inhaling, exhaling and hand-to-mouth behaviors, according to Health Day.

King explained that, "This makes them a potent trigger, encouraging people to smoke. They made the young adults in our study want to smoke." The impact of seeing the vape pens in use roughly equals to watching someone light up a regular cigarette.

The study that was published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research revealed that smokers aged 18 to 35, seeing someone else use either regular cigarettes, first-generation e-cigarettes or second-generation vape pens caused an immediate, significant and lasting increase in the desire to smoke.

King also mentioned that, "We've made real progress on reducing smoking in our country. We've done a good job banning indoor smoking. We rarely see two-pack-a-day smokers like we used to. Yet seeing people smoke in public remains common."

She noted that their study focused on a classical Pavlovian trigger, as seeing someone smoke is a known potent cue that can induce others to smoke. "We did not expect that the vape pen would be as potent a cue as the regular cigarette, but it was as potent," according to Medical Xpress.

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