About 1 in 5 U.S. Adult Smokers Have Tried an e-Cigarette
In 2011, about 21 percent of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes had used electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, up from about 10 percent in 2010, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, about six percent of all adults have tried e-cigarettes, with estimates nearly doubling from 2010. This study is the first to report changes in awareness and use of e-cigarettes between 2010 and 2011.
During 2010–2011, adults who have used e-cigarettes increased among both sexes, non-Hispanic Whites, those aged 45–54 years, those living in the South, and current and former smokers and current and former smokers. In both 2010 and 2011, e-cigarette use was significantly higher among current smokers compared to both former and never smokers. Awareness of e-cigarettes rose from about four in 10 adults in 2010 to six in 10 adults in 2011.
"E-cigarette use is growing rapidly," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. "There is still a lot we don’t know about these products, including whether they will decrease or increase use of traditional cigarettes."
Although e-cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes, the impact of e-cigarettes on long-term health must be studied. Research is needed to assess how e-cigarette marketing could impact initiation and use of traditional cigarettes, particularly among young people.
"If large numbers of adult smokers become users of both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes — rather than using e-cigarettes to quit cigarettes completely — the net public health effect could be quite negative," said Tim McAfee, MD MPH, director of the Office on Smoking and Health at CDC.
For quitting assistance, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.smokefree.gov. Also, visit www.BeTobaccoFree.gov for information on quitting and preventing children from using tobacco. For stories of people who have quit successfully, visit http://www.cdc.gov/tips.
March 1, 2013
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