While research has shown that vaping in teenaged years is tied to smoking later in life, a new study found that depending on which vaping devices a teen uses—vaping pens vs. modified e-cigarette devices—the young person may wind up smoking far more.
The study, “E-Cigarette Product Characteristics and Subsequent Frequency of Cigarette Smoking,” in the May 2020 Pediatrics, found that participants using a pen-like e-cigarette device smoked 2.83 times as many cigarettes as those who had never used e-cigarettes, and participants using a modifiable e-cigarette device (often called “mod” devices) smoked 8.38 times as many cigarettes.
Researchers for the study examined data from 1,312 participants in the Southern California Children’s Health Study in 2015-2016 (~18 years of age) and followed up with these participants a year later. Those who vaped were more likely to smoke after the year, and the amount they smoked depended on the e-cigarette device they used.
Mods have components that can be modified, such as the battery, temperature, and power, that change the relative amount of nicotine delivery and size of the vape cloud, while vape pens generally deliver a consistent, and often lower, level of nicotine.
Researchers concluded that young adults using modifiable (vs. pen-like) e-cigarette devices smoked more than six times as many cigarettes a year later and recommended that targeted regulation of these mod e-cigarettes could help reduce more heavy smoking patterns.