New CDC Study Blows Away Popular E-Cig Criticism

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.

The CDC study shows that just 0.4 percent of people who had never smoked tobacco were current vapers, using the device either every day or some days. Among the adults who had never smoked cigarettes a meagre 3.4 percent had ever tried and e-cigarette. In total, 12.6 percent of Americans have tried an e-cigarette.

Percentages were significantly different across all smoking status groups

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.

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