By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A new study shows that teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become regular smokers. The results are now raising some serious concerns.

Research shows there’s been an explosion in vaping among teens. More and more high schoolers are using and doctors are worried about what it could lead to.

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It’s known as vaping, a tobacco-free alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes are designed to help kick the habit. The problem is it’s now become popular among teens.

“One hit and I threw my cigarettes away,” said one former smoker.

A new study shows that high schoolers who vape are 10 times more likely to become regular smokers…

“Any time you’re putting an addictive substance in a growing changing brain, it can lead to more cravings and more desires,” said Dr. Scott Krugman of Medstar Franklin Square Hospital.

The research was published in the journal of the American Medical Association.The study is geared towards 10th grade students in Los Angeles and many calling it an emerging public health issue.

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“The results of this study raises some concerns about potential increase risks of transitioning to cigarettes,” said Adam Leventhal, the lead author of study.

Doctors say the problem with teens are they’re not going from smoking, to vaping, to off. Instead they’re doing the exact opposite, starting on nothing and ending with cigarettes.

“It’s a nicotine delivery system, nicotine is very addictive, the way to increase the amount of nicotine you get is by switching to vaping to smoking,” said Dr. Krugman.

“If you’re a parent and your kid is vaping, I would heighten my senses to that potential consequence,” said Leventhal.

The study shows E-cigarettes without nicotine can also lead to the use of other tobacco products. In Maryland, those under the age of 18 are not legally allowed to buy vapor products.

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Rick Ritter