TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who use electronic cigarettes are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes and to eventually increase their use of both products, another study suggests.
But the researchers also found that increased use of both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes over time is not linked with other factors such as alcohol or marijuana use.
The study included more than 2,000 participants in California who completed three surveys between the ages 16 and 20.
"Our work provides more evidence that young people who use e-cigarettes progress to smoking cigarettes in the future," said study author Michael Dunbar, a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corp, a nonprofit research organization.
"For young people, using [e-cigarettes] may actually lead to more harm in the long run," he said in an organization news release.
The findings highlight "the importance of taking steps to prevent youth from vaping in the first place. One way to do this could be to limit e-cigarette and other tobacco advertising in kid-accessible spaces," Dunbar said.
The study was published online Oct. 2 in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said teen use of e-cigarettes has reached "epidemic" levels and called on makers of the most popular e-cigarettes to keep their products away from youngsters.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on e-cigarettes and young people.