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E-Cigarette Use Increased Significantly From 2017 to 2018

THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2020 -- There was a marked increase in electronic cigarette use from 2017 to 2018 in the United States, according to a study published online Sept. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Olufunmilayo H. Obisesan, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Baltimore, and colleagues used data from 1,156,411 participants in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2016 to 2018) to analyze e-cigarette use among U.S. adults.

The researchers found that the weighted overall current e-cigarette use prevalence was 4.5 percent in 2016, which remained stable at 4.4 percent in 2017 but increased to 5.4 percent in 2018. These numbers translate to approximately 11.2 million adults using e-cigarettes in the United States in 2016, 11 million in 2017, and 13.7 million in 2018. Trends were similar across sociodemographic groups and geography. However, the youngest age group (18 to 24 years) had the largest increase in prevalence (9.2 percent in 2016 to 15 percent in 2018), as did students (6.3 percent in 2016 to 12 percent in 2018). There was also a shift seen toward daily use and sole e-cigarette use.

"The significant increase in daily e-cigarette use suggests that more users are becoming dependent on e-cigarettes rather than merely experimenting with them," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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