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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

George Mason: Study Finds E-Cigarette Users Aged 18-44 Are Nearly Three Times More Likely to Have a Stroke than Non-Smokers

E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly common, particularly among young adults. We are also seeing increases in stroke among young adults who smoke cigarettes, but we don’t know yet if e-cigarettes lead to similar dangers.

Dr. Tarang Parekh, student at George Mason University College of Health and Human Services led the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that examined the association of stroke in e-cigarette users aged 18−44 years with or without cigarette use.

They found that those who used e-cigarettes and smoked had a nearly three times (2.91) higher risk of stroke than non-smokers based on self-reported information. Those who smoked only cigarettes had a 1.59 times higher risk for stroke than non-smokers. The risk of stroke for e-cigarette users who formerly smoked was 2.54 times higher than for non-smokers. Sole e-cigarette users had a lower risk of stroke (0.43) than current cigarette users.

They also found that e-cigarette users who had previously smoked cigarettes were at a higher risk for stroke, higher even than those who only smoked cigarettes. While e-cigarettes are often promoted as safer alternatives to cigarettes, there was no protection against stroke demonstrated in this study to suggest smokers should switch to e-cigarettes.

This study included data on 161,529 participants from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, a nationally representative, cross-sectional phone survey. They adjusted for patient demographics, behavioral risk factors, relevant comorbidities with or without history, and concurrent use of combustible cigarette use.

The researchers recommend additional study of the topic including longitudinal studies on benefits and risks of smoking cessation alternatives.

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