How Many Adults Vape?
In 2021, 13.2 million people aged 12 or older (or 4.7%) used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. The percentage of people who vaped nicotine was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (14.1% or 4.7 million people), followed by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (5.2% or 1.4 million people), then by adults aged 26 or older (3.2% or 7.1 million people).
Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 11.0% (or 4.3 million people) used tobacco products or used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. Among people in this age group, 8.1% (or 3.1 million people) vaped nicotine, 5.4% (or 2.1 million people) used tobacco products, and 3.4% (or 1.3 million people) smoked cigarettes in the past month.
Among people aged 12 or older who vaped any substance in the past month, 71.1% vaped nicotine, 40.1% vaped marijuana, and 19.2% vaped flavoring.
Source: SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health (released March 2023, based on 2021 data)
How Many Youth Vape?
According to the CDC, approximately 11.3% of teens vape.
• 2.55 million U.S. middle and high school students reported vaping in the last 30 days
• Of those, 14.1% of were high school students; more than 3% were middle school students
• Nearly 85 percent used flavored e-cigarettes
• More than half used disposable e-cigarettes
For more national stats, see the CDC page.
A congressionally mandated panel from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examined more than 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies. In its report, the panel concluded that evidence suggests that while e-cigarettes are not without health risks, they are likely less harmful than combustible cigarettes.
- Long-term health effects of vaping are unknown. The CDC has issued warnings about short-term effects. Kids should not start using nicotine.
- Vaping devices with THC can be deadly.
- In the United States:
- As of February 18, 2020, a total of 2,807 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).
- Sixty-eight deaths have been confirmed in 29 states and the District of Columbia (as of February 18, 2020).
- Most of these deaths have reportedly involved vaping THC with vitamin E acetate.
- Illinois and Wisconsin: Hospitalizations from Vaping “Street” Products
- In the United States:
Why is youth vaping a concern?
- According to a study in Pediatrics, children who vape are exponentially more likely to smoke cigarettes daily when they are young adults. (~3x more likely)
- A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found youth who vaped were nearly 4 times more likely to smoke.
- Free webinar: Vaping Evolved: What Parents Need to Know, November 17, 2021
- Nicotine alters the adolescent brain. It increases their risk for:
- Mood disorders.
- Stunted learning and recall.
- Diminished enjoyment of activities they normally adore.
- To view a poster by high school student Anna T., click here
Does Vaping Help People Quit Smoking?
- A Cochrane Report review of research studies found that e-cigarettes, varenicline and cytisine were most likely to help people quit smoking. For every 100 people, 10 to 19 are likely to quit using an e-cigarette; 12 to 16 using varenicline; and 10 to 18 using cytisine.
- Study: Is Substituting Vapes for Cigs Sustainable?
- The PATH study examined this among thousands of patients.
- According to a Cochrane review of published research, it is unclear if e-cigs are an effective way to quit smoking.
- According to a UW-CTRI editorial in JAMA Open Network, there is still a lot we don’t know about vaping. Further research is needed.
- In a UW-CTRI study, vaping can reduce nicotine dependence, but it is unclear if patients would quit vaping.
- Another UW-CTRI study found that participants who both smoked and vaped were more likely to quit vaping than to quit smoking.
- A British study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found e-cigarettes were more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy (18% quit vs. 9%), when both products were accompanied by behavioral support.
- In its report, “Nicotine Without Smoke: Tobacco Harm Reduction,” the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom recommended promoting both quit-smoking medications and e-cigarettes as a way to help people avoid the harms caused by smoking combustible tobacco products. The FDA has not made such recommendations.
UW-CTRI Research on Vaping
UW-CTRI is analyzing its second study on smoking and vaping. The first UW-CTRI study on smoking and vaping found no clear evidence that vaping e-cigs reduced smoking or lowered carbon monoxide levels in participants. The second study did find that dual users of e-cigs and regular cigarettes smoked fewer cigarettes per day, but were taking in the same amount of nicotine. UW is also conducting a study on the acute and long-term effects of vaping.
- On May 5, 2016, the FDA asserted authority to regulate all tobacco products, including vaping devices. On August 8, 2016, those regulations took effect.
- FDA Warns Puff Bar and Issues Denial to Hyde
- Listen: Juul To Pay $438 Million Settlement for Marketing to Kids
- The FDA continues to examine vaping products and enforce laws and regulations.
- To view a list of vaping regulations by state, click here.
- FDA Denies Marketing Authorization for JUUL
- Dr. Fiore on FDA Regulation & Quitting Nicotine
- As states mull laws to raise the age to buy tobacco to 21, matching the federal Tobacco 21 law for enforcement purposes, CBS 58 in Milwaukee spoke with UW-CTRI Associate Director of Research Dr. Megan Piper about youth vaping.
Taxes on Vaping
Wisconsin recently joined other states in taxing vaping products.