According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four adults still use tobacco products at least occasionally although rates of cigarette smoking have dropped to record lows in the United States. The report reveals that during 2013 and 2014, a total of 21.3% of US adults ages 18 and older used a tobacco product every day or some days, and 25.5% used a tobacco product daily, some days, or rarely. Brian A. King, PhD, senior author of the report, says young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 had the highest rates of e-cigarette use and use of other emerging tobacco products.

In addition, King says that e-cigarette use among adults may be plateauing. King and colleagues analyzed data from the 2013-2014 National Adult Tobacco Survey, which is a recurring telephone survey of adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that aims to assess the prevalence of tobacco use in the US. During these years, an estimated 49.2 million adults in the US used a tobacco product every day or some days, while 58.8 million adults used tobacco products either frequently or sporadically.

Additionally, the data shows that males were more likely to use tobacco products than females were. Lower socioeconomic status, younger age, and being lesbian, bisexual, or gay were factors also associated with higher rates of tobacco use. Also, tobacco use prevalence was highest among American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and Alaska natives, while it was lowest among Asians. A Medpage Today report notes that regionally, people living in the South had the highest rates of tobacco use and those living in the Pacific states had the lowest.

Overall, the data showed the following: 17% of the respondents reported smoking cigarettes and 3.3% reported e-cigarette use; 1.8% reported regular cigar/cigarillo/filtered little cigar use; and less than 1% reported use of other combustible or noncombustible tobacco products. The researchers write, “This finding underscores the importance of further research on the ascertainment of tobacco product use, as well as efforts to educate the public about the potential harms of all tobacco product use, including risks associated with occasional use.”

“These findings are consistent with what we have seen in the past, but the tobacco product landscape is changing and this is concerning,” explains King. “Although cigarettes are still the most commonly used tobacco product, we are seeing the use of other forms of tobacco increasing — which is why it is important to address all forms of tobacco use among adults, not just cigarettes.”

Source: Medpage Today