E-cigarettes popular among smokers with existing illnesses

February 21, 2017

Ann Arbor, MI, Feb. 21, 2017 - In the U.S. more than 16 million people with smoking-related illnesses continue to use cigarettes. According to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, current and former smokers who suffer from disease are more likely to have reported using an e-cigarette, meaning these patients may see e-cigarettes as safer or less harmful than combustible cigarettes and a way to reduce the risks posed by traditional smoking.

Use of electronic cigarettes has significantly increased in recent years. In 2010, only 2% of American adults had ever used an e-cigarette, but by 2014, that number had jumped to 12.6%. While most people see e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional combustible smoking, many questions remain unanswered about their effects.

Using data from the 2014 and 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), investigators found that current smokers who also suffered from one or more medical conditions were more likely to have used an e-cigarette than "healthy" smokers (those without any comorbidities). The study 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," explained lead investigator 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."

The data revealed that not only are smokers with comorbidities more likely to use e-cigarettes, but that e-cigarette use continues to rise, especially among present smokers (47.6% in 2014 vs. 53.5% in 2015). Current smokers with asthma, COPD, or cardiovascular disease reported e-cigarette use more often than other groups. Among former smokers, individuals with COPD reported more e-cigarette use compared to those without chronic disease; however, former smokers with cancer had lower odds of current e-cigarette use.

"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."

While health care providers and researchers are still trying to fully understand possible health risks associated with e-cigarettes, there is a growing consensus that their use can possibly help people quit combustible cigarettes and curb tobacco-related risks. Switching to e-cigarettes might have greater positive impact for current smokers with health problems.

"E-cigarette use by current and former smokers with medical comorbidities is substantial, especially among individuals with chronic lung or cardiovascular disease. Clinicians should routinely ask these patients about e-cigarette use, assessing potential risks and benefits in terms of reducing or quitting combustible cigarette use. Clinicians should also actively consider all pathways to help their patients quit combustible cigarettes and recommend evidence-based treatments," commented Dr. Kruse.
-end-


Elsevier Health Sciences

Related Cardiovascular Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Changes by income level in cardiovascular disease in US
Researchers examined changes in how common cardiovascular disease was in the highest-income earners compared with the rest of the population in the United States between 1999 and 2016.

Fighting cardiovascular disease with acne drug
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Stanford University have found the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy - a leading cause of heart failure - and identified a potential treatment for it: a drug already used to treat acne.

A talk with your GP may prevent cardiovascular disease
Having a general practitioner (GP) who is trained in motivational interviewing may reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Dilemma of COVID-19, aging and cardiovascular disease
Whether individuals should continue to take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is discussed in this article.

Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

New insights into the effect of aging on cardiovascular disease
Aging adults are more likely to have - and die from - cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts.

Premature death from cardiovascular disease
National data were used to examine changes from 2000 to 2015 in premature death (ages 25 to 64) from cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Ultrasound: The potential power for cardiovascular disease therapy
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.

Despite the ACA, millions of Americans with cardiovascular disease still can't get care
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Americans, yet millions with CVD or cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) still can't access the care they need, even years after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease
In the first Mendelian randomization study to look at this, researchers have found evidence that excess weight and body fat cause a range of heart and blood vessel diseases (rather than just being associated with it).

Read More: Cardiovascular Disease News and Cardiovascular Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.