MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ralph S. Caraballo, PhD MPH
Branch Chief, Epidemiology Branch
Office on Smoking and Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
CDC Atlanta GA
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Caraballo: Electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) use has increased rapidly in the U.S. in recent years. The availability and use of ENDS raise new issues for public health practice and tobacco regulation, as it is unknown whether patterns of ENDS use enhance, deter, or have no impact on combustible tobacco product use. This study assessed past-month, lifetime, and frequency of ENDS use among current, former, and never adult cigarette smokers.
In 2014, overall lifetime and past-month ENDS use was 14.1% and 4.8%, respectively. By smoking status, 49.5% of current, 14.7% of former, and 4.1% of never cigarette smokers had used ENDS in their lifetime, whereas 20.6% of current, 4.0% of former, and 0.8% of never smokers used ENDS in the past month. Among current and former cigarette smokers who ever used ENDS, 44.1% and 44.7% reported using ENDS >10 days in their lifetime, respectively.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Caraballo: This study did not assess reasons for using Electronic nicotine delivery system; thus, we do not know, for example, if past-month dual cigarette and ENDS users were either substituting some regular cigarettes for ENDS or were they purposely using ENDS as a quit aid. ENDS are not an FDA-approved quit aid. The evidence is currently insufficient to conclude that ENDS are effective for smoking cessation. However, seven medicines are approved by the FDA for smoking cessation, and are proven safe and effective when used as directed.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Caraballo: In 2014, lifetime and past-month ENDS use continued to be more prevalent among current than former or never cigarette smokers and almost half of current and former cigarette smokers who ever used ENDS used them for more than 10 days, suggesting a critical need to examine ENDS trajectories and transitions of use. Understanding cigarettes and ENDS use and continued surveillance of ENDS are critical next steps to inform public health policy, planning, and practice.
Ralph S. Caraballo, PhD MPH (2015). Electronic Nicotine Use Rises, Especially Among Smokers