A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has blown a major hole in the case against e-cigarettes.
Many of the most vehement critics of e-cigarettes fear the devices could prove to be a gateway drug and will raise the risk of non-smoking vapers being lured into trying the real thing.
Critics also fear that we haven’t seen the long-term health effects of vaping and that regulators and lawmakers should take a stricter stance on taxing e-cigarettes and raising the age at which they can be bought.
But according to a CDC report released on Monday, public health activists have little reason to fear a rising tide of new smokers in wake of the vaping revolution. The report is the first of its kind with the first estimates of e-cigarette use among U.S. adults from a nationally representative household survey.
Supporters of e-cigarettes received some good news with the figures showing that 47.6 percent of current smokers had tried vaping and 55.4 percent of smokers who had quit had used e-cigarettes.
A little over 20 percent of current smokers who had tried to give up in the last year were using e-cigarettes, according to the CDC. Just under four percent Americans are classified as regular e-cigarette users.
The study follows data released by the CDC in April showing regular smoking continuing to fall among high school students while e-cigarette use was increasing, with 9.2 percent of students saying they smoked a cigarette in the last month – a fall of 3.5 percent from 2013. Over the same time period, students who reported using e-cigarettes jumped from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent.
While there remains a significant degree of skepticism about e-cigarettes, not least from Senate Democrats who are urging tighter regulation, prominent anti-smoking groups have attempted to dispel the myths surrounding their use.