A federally-funded study reveals that e-cigarettes are especially popular among former cigarette smokers. Researchers found that cigarette smokers who try to quit are more likely to use e-cigs than their peers who do not try to kick the habit.
Federal researchers also found that the electronic devices are also very popular among current smokers that try to either kick the habit or reduce number of cigarettes.
According to the study, people who tried different methods of smoking cessation in the last year were twice as likely to use e-cigarettes in the process as smokers who don’t have plans to quit.
The study involved nearly 36,000 smokers whose data were stored on the servers of the National Center for Health Statistics. The new research confirms what e-cig advocates had said for years – that smokers use the devices to get rid of the habit. So far, the advocates lacked federal funding to actually prove their claims.
E-cigarettes are extremely popular especially among teens and young adults in times that tobacco industry is struggling against smoking cessation programs and suits over the health risks of their products.
Electronic cigarettes are marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes because they do not release all the harmful substances tobacco products do when lit up. But health experts are concerned that the nicotine in these products may promote nicotine addiction in young people.
And these concerns may hold some water as the recent NCHS study shows. Researchers learned that 10 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 admitted that they tried e-cigs although they never tried cigarettes, as compared to 3.5 percent in people aged 25 to 44 and 1.2 percent in older people.
Additionally, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found earlier this year that for the first time ever teens used more often e-cigarettes than traditional tobacco products. According to CDC data, 13.4 percent of high schoolers and middle schoolers used e-cigs, while only 9.2 percent used cigarettes;
The National Center for Health Statistics recently reported that 12.6 percent of U.S. adults tested the devices. Moreover, nearly 50 percent of active smokers and more than 55 percent of former smokers said that they tried the devices.
Although the devices were first released eight years ago, e-cig industry is currently worth $2.5 billion in the U.S. alone. For this year, analysts expect that sum to go beyond $3.5 billion.
Despite the huge amounts of money involved, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not release any rules on the electronic devices yet. A draft of the rules was first issued in April 2014, and the FDA is expected to grant itself authority to regulate the devices. The rules should be final in three months’ time.
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