The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just released a study regarding the prevalence of e-cigarette use compared to cigarette smoking in the country.
Researchers have noted that most e-cig users are significantly younger, and that adults seem to have less interest in the use of e-cigs than teens.
In a study based on the data from the National Health Interview Survey in 2014, researchers found that 22 percent of people aged 18 to 24 years old use e-cigs, and that about 4 percent of people aged 65 years old and above have tried them out.
Meanwhile, the study also said that 13.6 percent of high school students have tried the use of these devices, a number which is higher than the 12.6 percent of adults in the country who have at least tried an e-cig once and the 3.7 percent of adults who use e-cig in their daily routine.
When it comes to conventional smoking, the study revealed that 15.2 percent of adults still practice the smoking of traditional cigarettes and about 48 percent of them have tried an e-cig once. Of those who have kicked the habit of conventional smoking, 55 percent have used an e-cig once while 22 percent currently uses them.
Among the 37,000 adults who participated in the survey, the use of e-cigs has increased among males with 14 percent while it has dropped among females with only about 11 percent. Regarding racial diversity, 5 percent of Caucasians consume e-cigs while 11 percent of Native Americans use these devices. Among African-Americans and Hispanics, only 2 percent use e-cigs, the research said.
Researchers said that these data offer the first-ever in-depth look at the popularity of e-cigs among adults in the country, but they have yet to see the factors that drive people to smoke e-cigs.
"This was the first year that the NCHS has even asked these questions. So we can only speculate as to why, as we watch to see how the trends unfold over time," explained Charlotte Schoenborn, statistician and co-author of the study.
Erika Sward from the American Lung Association who was not involved in this study said that the newly-released data will be helpful in monitoring e-cigarettes in the country.
Sward said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not even discovered any proof that e-cigs are safe or effective in helping users quit smoking. She said that no e-cig company has applied to the FDA for approval, and that the most vulnerable to the possible side-effects of the product are current smokers who are young and have recently quit smoking.
"And until we act, troubling studies like this one suggest that we're on a path to a real public health crisis that will undo much of the progress that has been made to reduce tobacco use in the U.S," she added.
Photo : Jonny Williams | Flickr