Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tried An Electronic Cigarette? How'd It Go?

Efficacy Of E-Cigarettes Still Unknown

About one in five U.S. adult cigarette smokers have tried an electronic cigarette, says the CDC. The device is an electronic inhaler that vaporizes a liquid solution into an aerosol mist, simulating the act of tobacco smoking. But the effects of e-cigarettes in long term health is not known.

“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 Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the Office on Smoking and Health at CDC.

Although 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, says the CDC. Research, they say, is needed to assess how e-cigarette marketing could impact initiation and use of traditional cigarettes, particularly among young people.

In 2011, about 21 percent of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes had used electronic cigarettes, up from about 10 percent in 2010, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In both 2010 and 2011, e-cigarette use was significantly higher among current smokers compared to both former and never smokers. Overall, about six percent of all adults have tried e-cigarettes, with estimates nearly doubling from 2010.

During 2010–2011, adults who have used e-cigarettes increased among both sexes, non-Hispanic Whites, those aged 45–54 years, those living in the South, and current and former smokers and current and former smokers. Awareness of e-cigarettes rose from about four in 10 adults in 2010 to six in 10 adults in 2011.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said, “There is still a lot we don’t know about these products, including whether they will decrease or increase use of traditional cigarettes.”

For quitting assistance, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit Also, visit for information on quitting and preventing children from using tobacco. For stories of people who have quit successfully, visit

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