Amid claims that e-cigarettes can also pause cancer risks, a study has found that young adults believe electronic cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes - a presumption that is turning even nonsmokers to nicotine addiction.
"Half of current users of e-cigarettes are nonsmokers, suggesting that unlike tobacco harm-reduction products, e-cigarettes contribute to primary nicotine addiction and to renormalisation of smoking behaviours," said Robert C McMillen, an associate professor at Mississippi State University in the US.
Young parents who use e-cigarettes believe that the devices are safer for those around them, the findings showed.
The risks of e-cigarette use and exposure to vapour are unknown, yet many parents report using these electronic cigarettes to reduce harm to others, McMillen noted.
Although e-cigarettes are marketed as an option to help smokers kick the habit, young adults also are less likely than older adults to use e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking.
For the study, the researchers surveyed a random sample of 3,253 adults in the US.
The parents reported several reasons for using electronic cigarettes: 81% said e-cigarettes might be less harmful than cigarettes to people around them; 76% said e-cigarettes are more acceptable to non-tobacco users; and 72% said they could use the devices in places where smoking cigarettes is not allowed.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution. The user inhales the vapor created and ingests the nicotine.
Some e-cigarettes are flavoured, and some have been found to contain toxic chemicals.