A U.S. study recently revealed that roughly 10.8 million American adults are now using e-cigarettes. More than half of them are under 35 years old, and one in three e-cigarette users are vaping daily.
Dr. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research for the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease in Baltimore says that “Electronic cigarette use is also closely associated with other high-risk behaviors. The most common pattern of use in the U.S. is dual use, i.e. current use of both traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.”
One of the big questions the study was looking for answers to was whether e-cigarettes might help some people cut back on smoking traditional cigarettes or quit altogether – the study did not offer a clear answer. It did, however, reveal the characteristics of the individuals now using e-cigs.
Overall, 1.4 percent of people in the study who never smoked traditional cigarettes used e-cigs. In addition, 7.6 percent of ex-smokers and 14.4 percent of current smokers also use e-cigarettes. Men appear to vape more often than woman do; 5.9 percent of men stated they use e-cigarettes, compared to 3.7 percent of women.
“Current smokers and recent quitters are the groups in which e-cig use is highest,” says Dr. Nancy Rigotti, director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
The U.S. is not the only country studying the characteristics of e-cigarette users. Results from a convenience sample in Ottawa, Canada was also recently released. This 24-item online survey was offered to individuals who purchased e-cigarettes or e-cigarette-related supplies at one of Ottawa’s 17 e-cigarette shops.
According to the survey results, the average age of the 242 participants was 38.1 years. Nearly all respondents (97.9%) had smoked 100 or more traditional cigarettes in their lifetime. Over 80 percent indicated that quitting smoking was a big part of why they chose to pick up an e-cigarette, and 60 percent shared that they did intend to stop using e-cigs at some point.
The survey also dove into e-cigarette users’ perceptions of the benefits, harms and risks of e-cigarettes. 40 percent reported that they experienced some side effects within 2 hours of using e-cigs. Those who did not feel any effects had approximately 3.2 times higher odds of perceiving e-cigs as harmless, compared to those who said they did feel side effects.
The popularity of e-cigarettes continues to grow, and merchants are taking advantage of this growth of the industry. Still deemed “high risk” in the eyes of traditional processors, many e-cig merchants are securing an e-cig merchant account. Regardless of their reason, it is clear that more and more people – both in the U.S. and Canada – are choosing e-cigarettes over traditional cigarettes.
Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high-risk payment processing company eMerchantBroker. He’s just as passionate about his business as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.