e-cigarette CDC image

Which Income Group Linked to More E-Cigarette Purchases?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mahmoud Al Rifai MD MPH Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine Houston

Dr. Al Rafai

Mahmoud Al Rifai MD MPH
Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine Houston

Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD  Section of Cardiology Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Dr. Virani

Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD

Section of Cardiology
Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine Houston

  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: E-cigarettes typically cost more than combustible cigarettes and there is more variability in cost due to a wide variety of flavors, e-cigarette liquid, and vaping device that are available in the market. Therefore, use of e-cigarettes may vary depending on income with potentially higher use among higher income individuals.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: In this study, we found that lower income earners demonstrated lower prevalence of e-cigarette use and a decrease in prevalence between the years 2016 and 2018. In contrast, those with higher income demonstrate higher prevalence and an increasing prevalence in e-cigarette use over the same time period. Similar trends were noted for cigarette users but these were not significant.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: It is important to take into consideration a person’s income which is directly related to the ability to afford and possibly use e-cigarettes. More educated individuals who are of a higher socioeconomic status may perceive e-cigarettes as safer alternatives compared to cigarette smoking and more likely to use them compared those from lower socioeconomic status who may not be able to afford e-cigarettes and therefore use cigarettes instead. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research should focus on e-cigarette marketing campaigns which target high income earners and examine the messaging that is being used to promote e-cigarette use in this income stratum. Future studies should also determine whether e-cigarette price is a factor that individuals consider in choosing between e-cigarettes versus cigarettes. These results can be used by policy makers for regulating the marketing and sales of e-cigarettes.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: It is important to determine the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes, particularly with regards to the cardiovascular and pulmonary system as these are not currently fully known. Marketing strategies promoting these products as safer alternatives compared to cigarette smoking are misleading and could compromise all the public health gains that have been made in recent decades towards curbing tobacco use by once again normalizing the act of smoking in society.

Dr. Salim S. Virani reports the following disclosures:

Research support: Department of Veterans Affairs, World Heart Federation, Tahir and Jooma Family

Honorarium: American College of Cardiology (Associate Editor for Innovations, acc.org)

Citation:

Temporal Trends in E-Cigarette Use Among U.S. Adults: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016 to 2018
Al Rifai, Mahmoud et al.
The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 133, Issue 9, e508 – e511

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Last Modified: Oct 19, 2020 @ 7:40 pm

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