Smoking is on the rise due to an increase in the use of electronic cigarettes, particularly by smokers of traditional cigarettes. Instead of replacing tobacco with e-cigarettes, a new poll found that smokers are using both types of cigarettes to get their nicotine.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 5,679 Americans, 75 percent of traditional cigarette smokers also use electronic cigarettes. Of those using both forms, 69 percent say they smoke e-cigs just to “tide me over between traditional cigarettes.”
“You don’t get the great big burst of nicotine you get with a cigarette, but at this point, it satisfies my cravings,” said Mike Morgan, 48, who uses a vaping device about 10 to 15 times a day and eventually wants to quit smoking altogether, according to Reuters.
The poll found that 81 percent of vapors believe that e-cigarettes help people quit traditional smoking. But medical providers are not as convinced.
“The Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependency (AATUD) reports there’s no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are safe or that they help smokers reduce or eliminate their consumption of tobacco,” said Patricia Anasiewicz, nursing program coordinator with Community Health Services at Abington Hospital in Pennsylvania. “In reality, many consumers are not able to quit and sometimes discover they are now using both e-cigarettes, which can be quite expensive, as well as continuing to smoke.”
E-cigarettes have only been in the U.S. for about seven years but the industry is expected to hit $10 billion in sales by 2017. According to the Reuters poll, 37 percent of vapers picked up the habit in just the past six months.
While the poll found that 10 percent of all U.S. adults currently use e-cigs, teenagers are a huge growth market for electronic cigarettes. A reported 2.5 million teens already vape and that number will grow quickly.
“Minors are easily able to purchase e-cigarettes from the Internet because of an absence of age-verification measures used by Internet e-cigarette vendors,” according to a recent study.
By Alan Lyndon
Photo by TBEC Review via Flickr.