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E-cigarettes are more likely to be used by alcohol drinkers and former cigarette smokers

American Heart AssociationAnaheim, CA – Electronic cigarettes are more frequently used by people who recently quit smoking and alcohol drinkers, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

E-Cigarette. (American Heart Association)
E-Cigarette. (American Heart Association)

Researchers examined data from 5,423 individuals with recorded tobacco use in the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

A total of 116 (2.6 percent) of NHANES participants were found to use e-cigarettes.

They found electronic cigarettes were used by 8 percent of people who never smoked.

When compared to individuals who never used any tobacco products, e-cigarette users were:

  • 6.32 times as likely to be exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke.
  • 4.19 times as likely to report drinking alcohol 12 times or more in the last 12 months.
  • Less likely to be college graduates, illicit drug users and people with an income of at least $75,000.

Compared to other tobacco users, e-cigarette users were more likely to be current or former smokers. Former smokers were 23 times likely to use e-cigarette, within the last three months of quitting cigarettes.

With an observed trend, the longer the time duration since quitting cigarettes, the lower the difference was between e-cigarette users and other tobacco users. However, the difference remained large and significant for all time intervals, researchers said.

The American Heart Association cautions against the use of e-cigarettes, stating that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are tobacco products that should be subject to all laws that apply to these products. The association also calls for strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and for more research into the product’s health impact.

Authors are Rana M. Jaber, Ph.D.; Mohammadhassan Mirbolouk, MD.; Andrew P. DeFilippis, Ph.D.; Wasim Maziak, MD.; Ron Blankstein, Ph.D.; Anshul Saxena, Ph.D. and Thomas Payne, Ph.D., Rachel Keith, Ph.D., Benjamin Emelia, MD., Bhatnagar Aruni, Ph.D., Michael J. Blaha, MD., Khurram Nasir, MD.

American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center (A-TRAC) funded the study.

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.

The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.


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