Revealed: An Overview of E-Cigarette Statistics- Types of Users, Age, Reasons for use etc.
Lately, the debate has become hugely emotional: Are e-cigarettes a new avenue for addiction or do they really help people get off regular cigarettes? Until recently, there has been scant evidence to back either side. However, a new report published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) could help address that void.
Variously referred to as e-cigs, e-cigarettes work by heating up fluid that contains nicotine and consequently producing a vapor that a user inhales. The report found that nearly half of the current tobacco smokers in the U.S. (there are 45,000,000 tobacco smokers in the U.S. alone) had tried e-cigs at least once and the figure was even higher (55%) among those who had recently quit smoking.
This survey of over 35,000 U.S. adults essentially marks the first time that detailed data about e-cigarettes has been widely availed and was done as part of the National Health Interview Survey- a collection of surveys concerning various health issues. Among those using e-cigs when surveyed, 22% had recently quit while 16% said they were still active smokers.
The study also found that the devices were highly popular among young adults aged 18 to 24- nearly 22% of adults who had ever tried an e-cig fell into this age group. Moreover, among the non-smokers, 10% of those in this age group had tried e-cigs. This increased usage by young adults who have never smoked is certainly noteworthy. However, the survey did not ask ex-smokers and smokers whether e-cigs had helped them quit– only whether they had ever used them.
The widespread appeal of e-cigarettes among young people has heightened fears that these devices may hook an entire new generation on nicotine, eventually leading them to actual tobacco smoking. What the report shows is that young adults who have previously never smoked are now picking up e-cigs in alarming numbers. Yet others worry that it remains far from clear how safe e-cigarettes are and whether smokers are actually using them as a crutch to continue their harmful ways or whether they actually help them quit.
What is obvious is that we are witnessing that people are smoking traditionally as well as using e-cigs yet there is no evidence to suggest that there are any health benefits associated with this- especially when continuing to smoke regular cigarettes.
Unsurprisingly, the e-cig industry interprets the report very differently citing it as great news for the public health sector. They back this statement by citing that the study barely shows any use of e-cigs among non-smokers, and great, if not significant usage, among those who have recently quit smoking as well as current smokers who wish to use these devices in their attempts to quit.
Insiders also think that the data indicates that many young people experiment with e-cigs without the burden of getting hooked. They postulate that e-cigs are something that young people are perhaps willing to take a puff of because they look cool- but they are not something that creates nicotine dependency in those who previously did not have it. And the polls seem to back this up. Latest polls continue to show broad public support for the regulation of e-cigs by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).