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Young Adult Never Smokers Show Growth in E-Cigarette Use

FRIDAY, Oct. 16, 2020 — The most notable increase in e-cigarette use from 2014 to 2018 occurred among younger-adult never smokers and near-term quitters (those who quit combustible cigarettes one to eight years before), according to a study published online Oct. 5 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Priti Bandi, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the U.S. National Health Interview Surveys (2014 to 2018) to estimate current e-cigarette prevalence. Results were stratified by age and smoking history.

The researchers found that among younger adults, e-cigarette use increased in all groups of smokers, with notable increases between 2014 and 2018 among never smokers (1.3 to 3.3 percent; P < 0.001) and near-term quitters (9.1 to 19.2 percent; P = 0.024). Among middle-aged and older people, the only substantial increase in e-cigarette use was among near-term quitters (middle aged: 5.8 to 14.4 percent; P < 0.001; and older: 6.3 to 9.5 percent; P < 0.045). Younger-adult never smokers had the largest absolute population increase in e-cigarette users (0.49 to 1.35 million), followed by near-term quitters among middle-aged (0.36 to 0.95 million), younger (0.23 to 0.57 million), and older (0.35 to 0.50 million) adults.

“Considering these variations is essential to informing public health action,” the authors write.

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