Evidence has suggested that increased use of e-cigarette can dramatically decrease cigarette smoking among youth and young adults, the researchers said, adding that vaping is likely to provide positive health benefits that outweigh the harm.
"E-cigarettes can provide the potential to reduce harm and also improve the public health if used as an alternative to cigarette smoking," said lead author David Levy, Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, US.
However, these e-cigarettes can also increase the harm if people become smokers as a direct consequence of first trying e-cigarettes, the researchers warned.
The "recent claims by some scientists that e-cigarettes are likely to act as a gateway to the use of tobacco products are overstated," Levy added. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently banned the use of e-cigarettes by youth younger than 18, said the paper published in the journal ‘Nicotine & Tobacco Research’.
"We want to discourage use of all nicotine and cigarette products," Levy said, supporting the move.
Despite the estimates of an overall public health benefit from e-cigarettes, use of these products in youths needs to be continuously monitored, since use patterns are likely to change as the product and awareness about the product changes, the researchers concluded.