E-cigs use by former and current smokers increasing rapidly

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Vaping is catching on. The number of American smokers who have tried e-cigarettes doubled in just a year, from 10 percent in 2010 to about 21 percent in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Among former smokers, the number grew from 2.5 percent to 7.4 percent, according to the report in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
E-cigarette use is growing rapidly, says CDC Director Thomas Frieden. There is still a lot we don t know about these products, including whether they will decrease or increase use of traditional cigarettes.

The CDC said in a news release, Although e-cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes, the impact of e-cigarettes on long-term health must be studied. Research is needed to assess how e-cigarette marketing could impact initiation and use of traditional cigarettes, particularly among young people. This cautious approach was echoed by the CDC s director of the office of smoking and health, Dr. Tim McAfee.

I call these hyper-precautious comments pusillanimous, but par for the course. It s like they re reading from the same script with their rejection of e-cigarettes, as they do with all the other tobacco harm reduction measures. They would probably preferred not to have had to confront the facts about the huge upswing in awareness and use of e-cigarettes, but they collected the data themselves. Anyone interested in more science-based information about smoking cessation to visit our Facebook page, Helping Addicted Smokers.

But ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan said she was encouraged that the CDC did seem to be cautiously acknowledging that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than traditional cigarettes.