Electronic Cigarette Use Among U.S. Adults, 2018

In 2018, an estimated 8.1 million U.S. adults were current electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) users (1). E-cigarette use is a public health concern (2), and it has been linked to a recent outbreak of lung injury and deaths among adults (3). Although the potential long-term health risks of e-cigarettes are not yet as well-known as they are with cigarettes, e-cigarettes usually contain nicotine, and nicotine is highly addictive (2). Moreover, the most common tobacco product combination among adults is e-cigarettes and cigarettes (4). This report examines e-cigarette use among U.S. adults aged 18 and over by selected sociodemographic characteristics and in relation to cigarette smoking status.

Summary

In 2018, 14.9% of adults aged 18 and over had ever used an e-cigarette, and 3.2% of adults were current e-cigarette users. Those who had ever used an e-cigarette and those who were current users were more likely to be men compared with women, aged 18–24 compared with older ages, and non-Hispanic white adults compared with Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, or non-Hispanic Asian adults. The percentage of adults who had ever used an e-cigarette was highest among those who were poor, and decreased as income increased. In 2018, 34 million U.S. adults were current smokers, and 55 million were former cigarette smokers for any duration (5). E-cigarette use was highest among current smokers and former smokers who quit cigarettes within the past year and those who quit 1–4 years ago. The percentages who had ever used an e-cigarette or who were current e-cigarette users declined among former smokers who had gone longer without smoking cigarettes and was lowest among those who never smoked cigarettes.

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