Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2016 CDC Data Shows E-Cigarette Use Declines Again

Some 7.8 million American adults used e-cigarettes in 2016, according to data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey, the source for CDC national smoking estimates.  That is about half a million fewer than a year earlier, and 1.1 million fewer than in 2014, the first year NHIS surveyed for vaping.  As the CDC reported a month ago (here), the 2016 data indicates 3.2% adult prevalence – 3.9% (about 4.5 million) for men, and 2.6%, (about 3.3 million) for women.  

The 2.62 million former smokers who are current vapers comprised an increasing percentage of all vapers, from 22% in 2014, to almost 34% in 2016.  This is more evidence that smokers are using e-cigarettes to quit their habit.  As the following chart shows, 87% of former smokers currently using e-cigarettes quit in the last 5 years, suggesting that e-cigarettes played a significant role.  Meanwhile, 13% of former-smoker current-vapers quit over 6 years ago.  The CDC admits that relapse among former smokers is common (here), so health advocates should applaud these former-smokers’ choice of e-cigarettes over far more dangerous cigarettes.

As noted previously (here), the 2.6 million former smokers represent more than mere anecdotal evidence; their documented experience ought to carry substantial weight with government policymakers. 

In view of the important positive health implications of switching to smoke-free products, the number of former smokers ought to be growing faster.  Unfortunately, the sustained war on all smoke-free products is likely suppressing broader transition away from cigarettes.

Addendum, September 29:  Bill Godshall asked me to take a closer look at every-day and some-day e-cigarette use in the NHIS surveys.  Here are the results:

Number (in millions) and Prevalence (%) of Every-Day and Some-Day E-Cigarette Use in the U.S., 2014 to 2016


20142.71 (1.1%)6.20 (2.6%)8.91 (3.7%)
20152.94 (1.2%)5.40 (2.2%)8.34 (3.4%)
20163.03 (1.2%)4.77 (2.0%)7.80 (3.2%)
 The number of every-day e-cig users increased by 12% between 2014 and 2016.  In 2014, the proportions of current, former and never smokers were 50% / 46% / 4%.  By 2016 the proportions were 32% / 58% / 10%, indicating that more every-day e-cig users were former smokers.  The number of some-day e-cigarette users dropped 23% from 2014 to 2016.  The proportions of current, former and never smokers in 2014 were 80% / 12% / 8%.  By 2016 the proportions were 68% / 18% / 14%. 

1 comment:

Andy Goff said...

I see that The Lowering of Numbers taking up e-cigarettes to quit smoking in direct correlation to regultions and Fearmongering in the industry.