Smokers Slow to Embrace Routine Use of Electronic Cigarettes

Release Date: June 3, 2014 | By Glenda Fauntleroy, HBNS Contributing Writer
Research Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

KEY POINTS

  • Nearly 47 percent of smokers have tried e-cigarettes but only 3.8 percent are established users.
  • Younger smokers and smokers living in areas with high cigarette taxes were more likely to have tried e-cigarettes.
  • Former smokers were more than three times more likely to be established users of e-cigarettes than current smokers.
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Sales of electronic cigarettes in the U.S. reached nearly $1.8 billion in 2013, but few of the smokers who tried the product have made the permanent switch from regular tobacco cigarettes, finds a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a mixture of nicotine and flavorings and produce a vapor when inhaled. Some experts believe that e-cigarettes offer a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, it was unknown whether smokers are using e-cigarettes in lieu of traditional cigarettes.

For the new study, a team of researchers led by Daniel Giovenco, a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Tobacco Surveillance and Evaluation Research at Rutgers University, wanted to determine how many current and former smokers have tried e-cigarettes and whether they continued to use them.

Over 2000 current and former smokers were surveyed in June 2013 about whether they had ever smoked an e-cigarette or had become an “established users” (used e-cigarettes more than 50 times).

While nearly 47 percent had tried e-cigarettes, the number of established users was just 3.8 percent. Younger smokers between ages 18 and 29 and people living in areas with high cigarette taxes were more likely to have tried e-cigarettes. And while daily smokers were more likely to have tried e-cigarettes than former or occasional smokers, former smokers were 3.2 times more likely than daily smokers to be established users of e-cigarettes.

Giovenco and his colleagues call for improved methods for identifying established users who have adopted e-cigarettes, who may provide insight into product features or other factors associated with their sustained use.

TERMS OF USE: This story is protected by copyright. When reproducing any material, including interview excerpts, attribution to the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, is required. While the information provided in this news story is from the latest peer-reviewed research, it is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment recommendations. For medical questions or concerns, please consult a health care provider.

For More Information:

Reach the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, at (202) 387-2829 or hbns-editor@cfah.org.

Giovenco DP, Lews MJ, Delnevo CD. Factors associated with e-cigarette use: a national population survey of current and former smokers. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2014.
 

Tags for this article:
Smoking   Promote your Health   Lifestyle and Prevention  



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Roosterado9 says
June 4, 2014 at 12:40 AM

" former smokers were 3.2 times more likely than daily smokers to be established users of e-cigarettes" As a former smoker who quit with e cig after nic gum and the similar failed,even with consoling .and a member 0f 6 facebook Minnesota area [5 state] Electronic cigarette groups with a combined membership of about 10,000----having never seen 1 post except by people who switched from Tobacco to e-cig I really wonder if they got that statistic backwards

Kelli B says
June 4, 2014 at 4:58 AM

Same here. I quit with ecig 3 yrs ago and am a member of a Texas vaping group of over 20,000 and everyone on there I spoke with used them to quit. Seems more prudent to survey quitters and identify the methods that worked.