Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 18 (ANI): The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaping has increased in recent years among US adults, with nearly one in 20 reporting the use of e-cigarettes, says a recent study.
The study is based on a survey of more than 930,000 US adults, found nearly 29,000 people identified as current e-cigarette users, which translates to about 10.8 million US adults. The proportion of survey respondents reporting current e-cigarette use rose from 4.3 per cent in 2016 to 4.8 per cent in 2018.
"While an increase of 0.5 per cent over three years may not sound like a large increase, that's a lot of e-cigarette users once you extrapolate out to the overall population. Based on our findings, I think the trend is only going to go upward, but we don't know yet what the long-term health effects are," said Mahmoud Al Rifai, MD, MPH, a cardiology fellow at Baylor College of Medicine and the study's lead author.
Researchers analysed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a large phone-based survey conducted annually for more than 35 years that is designed to be representative of the US adult population. Survey participants who said they used e-cigarettes every day or on some days were counted as current e-cigarette users.
While vaping rates rose across the overall population from 2016-2018, the increase was particularly pronounced in certain groups.
Current e-cigarette use increased from 3.3 per cent to 4.3 per cent among women; from 3.9 per cent to 5.2 per cent among adults 45-54 years old; and from 5.2 per cent to 7.9 per cent among former smokers. Vaping also rose dramatically among users of smokeless tobacco products, from 9.2 per cent in 2016 to 16.2 per cent in 2018.
Al Rifai said he believes the trends may reflect a push by e-cigarette makers to position their products for smoking cessation. He added that the findings underscore an urgent need for further research on the prevalence of vaping and to understand its potential long-term health implications for both the individual and public health.
"Because e-cigarettes have only been around for about a decade, many large cohort studies have only just recently started incorporating e-cigarette information into their questionnaires. Yet, the cumulative effects of e-cigarettes may take years to develop, especially in the context of cardiovascular disease. It's something that we need to keep a very close eye on," Al Rifai said. (ANI)