News from the FDA/CDC

E-cigarette users topped 8 million in 2018


About 8.1 million adults were using e-cigarettes in 2018, with use varying significantly by cigarette-smoking status and sociodemographics, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Recent cigarette quitters most likely to use e-cigarettes

Those 8.1 million individuals who were using e-cigarettes either every day or some days represented 3.2% of the total adult population, based on data from the 2018 National Health Interview Survey. An even larger proportion, 14.9%, said that they had at least tried an e-cigarette, Maria A. Villarroel, PhD, and associates at the NCHS said in a recent data brief.

Most cigarette smokers, both current and former, were even more likely to use e-cigarettes, they noted.

Former cigarette smokers who had quit within the last year were the most likely to use e-cigarettes – 57.3% had ever used one and 25.2% were current users – while current cigarette users (49.4% ever use and 9.7% current use) and former smokers who had quit 1-5 years before (48.6% ever use, 17.3% current) also were above-average e-cigarette consumers, they reported.

Use was significantly lower, however, among former cigarette smokers who had quit 5 or more years earlier (9.0% and 1.7%, respectively) and those who had never smoked (6.5% and 1.1%), the NCHS investigators said.

The survey data also showed much variation among the sociodemographic subgroups:

  • E-cigarette ever/current use was significantly higher in men (17.9% and 4.2%) than women (12.3% and 2.3%).
  • Whites were significantly more likely to use e-cigarettes (16.9% and 3.7%), compared with Hispanic (11.5% and 2.5%), black (10.0% and 1.6%), and Asian (10.2% and 2.2%) adults.
  • There was significant trend of decreasing use from age 18-24 years (25.8% and 7.6%) to 65 years and older (4.7% and 0.8%).

SOURCE: Villarroel MA et al. NCHS Data Brief No. 365, April 2020.

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