SHARE

In the US 16 million people who suffer from smoking-related illnesses sadly continue to smoke. A study which was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine used data from the 2014 and 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and included 36,697 adults in 2014 and 33,672 adults in 2015.

“This large sample provides the first national estimates of the prevalence of e-cigarette use among U.S. adults with medical comorbidities,” said lead researcher Gina R. Kruse, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. “Current smokers with medical comorbidities use e-cigarettes at higher rates than smokers without medical comorbidities. Very few never smokers with medical comorbidities have ever used e-cigarettes, except in the youngest age groups”, she added.

Smokers with cancer are least likely to switch to e-cigs

Besides finding that people with smoking-related diseases are more likely to try switching to vaping products, this study also found that vaping is on the rise and increased from 47.6% in 2014 to 53.5% in 2015. Smokers with asthma, COPD, or cardiovascular disease were observed to be more likely to use vaping products than those suffering from other diseases such as smoking-related cancer sufferers.

“Current smokers with medical comorbidities use e-cigarettes at higher rates than smokers without medical comorbidities. Very few never smokers with medical comorbidities have ever used e-cigarettes, except in the youngest age groups”Gina R. Kruse, MD, MPH, Researcher, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston

“Smokers with asthma, COPD, or cardiovascular disease probably use e-cigarettes for the same reasons as other adults: to quit cigarettes, reduce cigarette consumption, or reduce the harms from smoking,” said Dr. Kruse. “Smokers with these chronic diseases may feel an urgent need to quit or reduce combustible cigarette use and may be willing to try new products. Conversely, among adults with cancer, the low prevalence of e-cigarette use may be because even a reduced harm product is seen as too late to help them.”

Any known effective treatment should be considered for smoking cessation

Several studies have shown that switching from combustible cigarettes to electronic products leads to reducing health risks significantly. In fact the UK has fully endorsed the products for smoking cessation purposes and as a result is currently reporting the lowest number of smokers ever recorded. Dr. Kruse concluded by saying that doctors should consider any evidence-based treatment that may hold the potential to help their patients quit smoking.

Gina R. Kruse et al. Use of Electronic Cigarettes Among U.S. Adults With Medical Comorbidities, American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2017).