E-Cigarette Awareness, Trials Among Consumers Growing

6% of all adults have tried e-cigarettes, with estimates nearly doubling in 2011 from 2010

ATLANTA -- In 2011, about 21% of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes had used electronic cigarettes, up from about 10% in 2010, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Awareness of e-cigarettes rose from about four in 10 adults in 2010 to six in 10 adults in 2011. Overall, about 6% of all adults have tried e-cigarettes, with estimates nearly doubling from 2010.

This study is the first to report changes in awareness and use of e-cigarettes between 2010 and 2011.

During 2010-2011, adults who have used e-cigarettes increased among both genders, non-Hispanic Whites, those aged 45 to 54 years, those living in the South and current and former smokers. In both 2010 and 2011, e-cigarette use was significantly higher among current smokers compared to both former and "never smokers."

"E-cigarette use is growing rapidly," said CDC director Tom Frieden. "There is still a lot we don't know about these products, including whether they will decrease or increase use of traditional cigarettes."

Although the CDC said in a press statement that e-cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes, the impact of e-cigarettes on long-term health must be studied, it said. Research is needed to assess how e-cigarette marketing could impact initiation and use of traditional cigarettes, particularly among young people.

"If large numbers of adult smokers become users of both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes--rather than using e-cigarettes to quit cigarettes completely--the net public health effect could be quite negative," said Tim McAfee, director of the Office on Smoking & Health at CDC.

[Editor's Note: CSP Daily News does not endorse the opinions, assertions, conclusions or recommendations of this report.]