Former Smokers Who Recently Quit More Likely To Use E-Cigs

First Posted: Nov 16, 2015 04:15 PM EST

Former smokers who quit within the last year are more likely take up e-cigarettes, according to a recent study.

Researchers found that recent quitters were up to four times more likely to be daily users of e-cigarettes than current smokers at 13 percent vs. 3.5 percent.

The study is based on data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) of 36,697 U.S. adults age 18 and over who were assessed for daily e-cigarette use and the association with demographic characteristics and cigarette smoking status. Researchers analyzed e-cigarette use among adults who are current daily cigarette smokers, recent quitters who stopped smoking within the last year, former smokers who quit two to three years ago, former smokers who quit four our more years ago and those who never smoked to start out with.

Researchers found that roughly 12.6 percent of all adults reported having ever tried e-cigarettes. They also found that any e-cigarette use was higher in adults while daily e-cigarette use was more common among adults over the age of 25 than those aged 18-24, while e-cigarette use was very low for those who never smoked in the first place or who quit more than four years ago. Fortunately, researchers believe that based on the data, e-cigarettes do not seem to entice young adults or non-smokers to start using them, nor do they encourage relapse among longer-term former smokers.

"The finding that daily e-cigarette use is less common among 18-24 year olds and never smokers is good news," said David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute, in a news release. "It suggests that e-cigarettes could be used to displace use of much more deadly cigarettes among smokers and could generate an impressive public health benefit in terms of lives saved. It is important to be clear, however, that e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, an addictive stimulant. They are not appropriate products for children and youth."

The findings are published in Tobacco and Nicotine Research

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