Characteristics of Adults Who Switched From Cigarette Smoking to E-cigarettes

Su Hyun Park, Dustin T. Duncan, Omar El Shahawy, Lily Lee, Jenni A. Shearston, Kosuke Tamura, Scott E. Sherman, Michael Weitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Because of the rapidly increasing use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), this study aimed to investigate the individual characteristics and state-level prevalence of U.S. adults who have switched to e-cigarettes from traditional cigarettes. Methods Data from the 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 National Adult Tobacco Surveys were analyzed in 2016. Relative percent change in switching was estimated, and the state-specific prevalence of adults who switched to e-cigarettes from traditional cigarettes was calculated and mapped. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to examine how switching varied by sociodemographic subgroups and region. Results Overall, the number of individuals who switched from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes increased by approximately 100% over the 1-year interval. Significant increases were found among a number of sociodemographics and regions. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that young adults and those living in the South and West were more likely to switch to e-cigarettes, compared to former smokers who did not switch. Compared with current dual users, those with higher education and those who were not single were more likely to switch to e-cigarettes. The state with the highest prevalence of switching was New Mexico (7.3%), whereas Connecticut had the lowest prevalence (0.8 %) among former smokers. Conclusions There is an increase in the progression from traditional cigarette use to e-cigarette use. Further research is warranted to determine whether this change continues and facilitates cigarette smoking cessation as a possible public health benefit and opportunity to save lives rather than constitutes a potential threat to public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-660
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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