E-cigarette use common, especially among younger adults and those in the LBGTQ community
E-cigarette use is prevalent among U.S. adults, especially among men; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT); those who are unemployed; and those with chronic disease. E-cigarette use was also more common among those living in the South and West. Findings from a large U.S. survey are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
As e-cigarette use has risen, the medical community has become concerned about potential adverse health effects. In 2015, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provide regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes. Understanding their use patterns could help to inform research efforts, public education campaigns, and tobacco regulatory policy.
Researchers supported by the American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center used the largest and most extensive dynamic health survey—the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) national survey—to determine the most up-to-date national and state-level prevalence of current e-cigarette use among U.S. adults. The researchers also examined the prevalence of e-cigarette use among key demographic subgroups, which included stratification by cigarette smoking status. They found that about 4.5 percent of the U.S. adult population were current e-cigarette users and adults younger than 35 years accounted for more than half of this figure. Their use was especially high among those in the LGBT community and use varied widely by state, with estimates ranging from 3.1 percent in South Dakota to 7 percent in Oklahoma.