"Measures that reduce the appeal of these products to adolescents, like banning flavors, increasing the minimum purchase age to 21, and taxation, would help keep youth from starting to use tobacco in any form", he said to CBS News.
Researchers followed 10,000 nonsmokers ranging in age from 12 to 17 years old for one year to see how their use of other tobacco products influenced the odds that they would become smokers.
It also mandated that tobacco companies place graphic images showing the harmful effects of smoking on the upper part of cigarette packs in 2016.
"Cigarette "ever" use is a meaningful outcome given that nicotine dependence can manifest in adolescents soon after their first puff, but other smoking milestones, such as daily smoking, can take years to develop", the report said. Although teens trying other tobacco products were more likely to smoke, the majority of new smokers after one year came from the group that had not tried tobacco at baseline. Previous studies have demonstrated associations of use of individual products such as e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and hookahs with future cigarette smoking.
Shannon Lea Watkins, Ph.D., from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues estimated the longitudinal correlation between non-cigarette tobacco use and subsequent cigarette smoking among USA adolescents.
"95 percent of those people will be smoking again in one week from the day they try to stop".
The researchers believe that e-cigarette use provides a "catalyst" which triggers a "causal pathway from initial use of e-cigarettes to tobacco smoking among youths". Results showed that odds of cigarette use approximately doubled for those who ever used e-cigarettes, hookah, noncigarette combustible tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.
"Products like e cigarettes are essentially gateways to smoking cigarettes", Chandler said.
He added that the smoking cessation community is split among people who say it is good that these products are less harmful than conventional cigarettes and those who prefer to focus on the harms that non-cigarette tobacco products do cause.
And in another report released Tuesday, researchers said that almost 3 million American teens had been exposed to online marketing of tobacco, as cigarette manufacturers have shifted their marketing strategies from traditional forms of media to the internet.
Funding for this research was provided by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and FDA Center for Tobacco Products, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.