(LOUISVILLE, Ky - November 8, 2018) A study published in the November 2018 issue of Pediatrics found that adolescents who first try e-cigarettes or vapes end up smoking traditional cigarettes at about the same rate as youth who went straight to cigarettes. The study concluded that "smoking uptake and progression is an adverse public health consequence of high rates of e-cigarette use among youth and young adults."

Following is a statement from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky about this study:

"Yet another study shows that the net health impact of e-cigarettes on youth and young adults is likely to be devastating," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. "While e-cigs were created as a harm-reduction alternative for adults who smoke, the research is showing that they're a gateway to smoking for youth and young adults who experiment with them and then get hooked on nicotine while their brains are still developing.

"Our tobacco control policies at the national, state and local levels must be updated to reflect that youth e-cigarette use has risen to epidemic levels, potential reversing all the progress we've made in reducing smoking rates over the past 50 years. At a minimum, that means enacting tobacco-free school policies that prohibit the use of all tobacco products - including combustible cigarettes as well as vapes, e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or ENDS - on or in school property. And it means including these products in smoke-free community policies."

About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested nearly $28 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.

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Alexa Kerley
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