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Most E-Cig Users Are Ex-Smokers, US Study Finds

It's become an impassioned debate worldwide: Do e-cigarettes really help people quit smoking? While the debate continues, a relatively recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adds to the growing body of evidence that e-cigarettes do help people quit smoking.

Here's what the study found:

Adults Who Quit Smoking Likely To Use E-Cigarettes

When comparing e-cigarette use with cigarette smoking status, a key finding of the study was that adults who successfully quit smoking cigarettes within the past year were the people most likely to have ever used e-cigarettes (57.3% of study participants) and to be current e-cigarette users (25.2% of study participants).

This shows that e-cigarette use is a popular choice among those trying to quit smoking and suggests that it indeed has a positive impact---though, this is not concrete evidence.

As for those who were still using e-cigarettes when surveyed in 2018, around 16% said that they were still smoking cigarettes while 22% had recently managed to quit.

14.9% Tried E-Cigarettes In 2018

According to the 2018 study, 3.2% of adults (those aged 18 and over) reported vaping regularly, and this is the same percentage as was recorded back in 2016 according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

On top of the regular users, 14.9% of individuals who responded to the survey reported having tried an e-cigarette in 2018 compared to 15.3% in 2016, and 13.9% in 2014.

25.2% Of People Who Quit Smoking Use E-Cigarettes

Of the respondents who had recently quit smoking (recently being defined as within the last year), 25.2% reported using e-cigarettes to aid the transition to a smoke-free lifestyle or as a permanent replacement for traditional cigarettes. More than half of ex-smokers still reported never having used an e-cigarette. As a manner of comparison, only 1.1% of people who have never smoked and just 1.7% of smokers who quit at least five years prior to the survey being conducted reported the use of e-cigarettes.

After reviewing these figures, the NCHS concluded that e-cigarette usage is most common amongst those who have quit smoking within the last year or two, and those who currently smoke too.

The Biggest Survey To Date

According to Charlotte Schoenborn, a health statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), this survey of more than 36,000 U.S. adults is the first time that detailed federal data about e-cigarettes has become available.

The survey did not ask smokers and ex-smokers whether e-cigarettes had helped them quit---it simply asked if they had ever used the devices.

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