Advertising, without a doubt, is deeply embedded in the US culture. The very nature of business and indeed, socialization is inextricably linked to media and pop culture.  But where do e-cigarettes fit into all of this? 

A study published in the 2017 American Journal of Public Medicine aimed to find out just when children are truly exposed to e-cigarettes. However, the title of the study is “Initiation of Electronic Cigarette Use by Age Among Youth in the U.S.”, the use of the word “initiation” a bit misleading to the average reader. 

Analyzing data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, they study researched a sample size of over 20,000 kids from the age of 1-19 years old to determine at what point (and if) kids were likely to be “initiated” to e-cigarettes. The study used the data to determine the age at which kids would get exposed to cigarettes overall, at what age by gender and also by racial/ethnic groups.

Got A Number? 

In this study, the authors determined that the “mean” age of initiation to e-cigarettes use was about 17 and a half, which is a bit older than the average person might expect. However, the study found that actual exposure to e-cigarette use did occur from as early as 7 through 11 years old and definitely increased rapidly from age 11 on. 

Boys versus Girls

In this study, boys were found to have significantly higher exposure than girls. When ethnicity/ race was investigated, multiracial and white kids were found to have the highest initiation rates, followed by Hispanic, African, and Asian children.

Lingering questions

Is initiation ongoing use or exposure, or a single use? Would the data be similar or vastly different to that of kids smoking combustible cigarettes? The data here spurs more questions as we seek the truth beyond the smoke.