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This graphic is from a study about the use of e-cigarettes by adults in the United States between 2019 and 2021 by American Cancer Society researchers and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
For 18 to 29-year-olds, the purple sections in 2019 and 2021 show that a large percentage of younger adults using e-cigarettes had never used traditional cigarettes. For all the other age ranges, the orange sections for both 2019 and 2021 show that the largest percentages of these populations using e-cigarettes had previously used traditional cigarettes.
The youngest adult group (ages 18 to 29) was the most likely group to use e-cigarettes in 2019 and 2021, and the largest number of users had no history of tobacco use.
In the 18- to 29-year-old section of the graphic:
Studies have shown that youth and young adults using e-cigarettes have a higher risk for nicotine addiction, respiratory infections (including COVID-19), and progressing to combustible tobacco products. This movement in the wrong direction should spur public health and regulatory agencies, clinicians and health systems, health advocates and others to expand their efforts to accurately communicate the harms of using e-cigarettes to young adults. We don't know the long-term effects of their use."
Priti Bandi, PhD
Scientific Director, Cancer Risk Factors & Screening Surveillance Research
Surveillance & Health Equity Science, American Cancer Society
Most people ages 30 to 60+ who used e-cigarettes in 2021 had previously smoked traditional cigarettes.
In the graphic, in the 3 sections for people ages 30 and older, the bar graphs show that: