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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Georgia State: Significant Number of E-cig Users are Current, Former Smokers

While the use of e-cigarettes is most prevalent among current cigarette smokers, a significant portion of e-cigarette users are former cigarette smokers or have never smoked cigarettes, according to a recent study by researchers at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.

“[T]he public health challenge is how to balance the public health messaging about these alternative and novel tobacco products and to enhance the potential that they can become a ‘disruptive technology’ replacing the combusted tobacco products without expanding the patterns of nicotine use among youth and young adults, long-term ex-smokers, and other vulnerable populations,” the researchers concluded.

“Information on how these alternative and novel tobacco products are being used is critically needed as the marketing and use of these products are rapidly increasing.”

Researchers surveyed more than 5,700 current and former smokers as well as people who have never smoked through the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) at the School of Public Health. They found that 22 percent of people currently using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes, were former smokers and 10 percent had never smoked prior to using ENDS.

They also found that American adults aged 25-34, non-heterosexuals and those reporting poorer health had higher rates of ENDS use.

Use of electronic nicotine delivery systems and other tobacco products among USA adults, 2104: results from a national survey” is published in the International Journal of Public Health. Its authors are Dr. Scott Weaver, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics; Dr. Ban Majeed, postdoctoral research fellow; Dr. Terry Pechacek, professor of health management and policy; Ms. Amy Nyman, research consultant; Dr. Kyle Gregory, postdoctoral research fellow; and Dr. Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health and director of TCORS.

The results come at a time when the U.S Food and Drug Administration is awaiting the authority to regulate several novel tobacco products, including ENDS marketed for non-therapeutic purposes.

“The FDA needs current information on rates and trends of use of these products to guide and support its rule making and regulatory actions (or lack thereof),” the report states.

To learn more about tobacco-related research at Georgia State, go to: