How Many People Vape?
Approximately 4.4% of American adults vape. In 2020, 221.9 million units of e-cigarette products were sold in U.S. retail stores nationwide. This is an increase of 173.7% from 2015. Approximately 11.3% of teens vape.
In 2021, 85% of youth who vape chose flavored vapes. Disposables were most common, by about 53% of youth who vape, followed by refillable or prefilled cartridges at 28.7%.
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.
- Researchers at Marquette and reporters at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel collaborated to test popular e-cig juices: Lab Tests of E-cigs Reveal Harmful Chemicals
- 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?
- 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.
- The FDA continues to examine vaping products and enforce laws and regulations.
- To view a list of vaping regulations by state, click here.
- As the FDA mulls whether to approve various vaping products to continue to be available on the market, Wisconsin Public Radio invited UW-CTRI Director of Clinical Services Dr. Doug Jorenby to be a guest on its program “Central Time.”
- To listen to a recording of the broadcast from September 8, 2021, click here
- 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.