Increase in prevalence mainly due to increase among never smokers, who accounted for 53 percent of younger adult e-cigarette users in 2021
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, April 18, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For younger adults, the prevalence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use increased from 2019 to 2021, especially among those who never smoked cigarettes, according to a study published online April 18 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Priti Bandi, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated current e-cigarette use prevalence using data from cross-sectional, nationally representative National Health Interview Surveys in 2019, 2020, and 2021 by age group (younger, 18 to 29 years; middle age, 30 to 44 and 45 to 59 years; and older, 60 years and older) and by cigarette smoking status.
The researchers found that between 2019 and 2021, there was an increase in the prevalence of e-cigarette use among younger adults (8.8 to 10.2 percent; adjusted prevalence difference, 1.7 percent), mainly due to an increase among never smokers (4.9 to 6.4 percent; adjusted prevalence difference, 1.7 percent). Of the younger adults who used e-cigarettes in 2021, people who never smoked cigarettes constituted 53 percent. The prevalence was similar in 2019 and 2021 among middle-age and older adults, regardless of cigarette smoking status; the largest proportion of people who used e-cigarettes in 2021 was made up of those who formerly smoked cigarettes (51.8, 51.6, and 47.5 percent among those aged 30 to 44, 45 to 59, and 60 years and older, respectively).
“We must address the rise in e-cigarette use among younger adults who never smoked cigarettes and, at the same time, help those who may have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes to stop using these devices completely,” Bandi said in a statement.
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