Health

80% of young vapers say they feel safe using e-cigarettes but HALF say they plan to quit


Four out of five young adult vapers say they feel ‘safe’ using e-cigarettes despite the epidemic of lung illnesses that have killed 55 – but HALF say they plan to quit as a New Year’s resolution

  • 77% said they believe vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes and 60% think it’s healthier than drinking alcohol
  • Three-quarters said using e-cigarette is unhealthy but about 80% said they feel safe overall
  • Almost half of survey participants said they were quitting for their New Year’s resolution 
  • 79% said they believed less than 500 people had been sickened in the recent spate of vaping-related illnesses
  • In actuality, 2,561 people have been sickened and 55 people have died

Many vapers say they feel safe using e-cigarettes despite the recent outbreak of lung injuries, new survey data shows. 

About 77 percent of e-cigarette users say they believe vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes and 60 percent say it is healthier than drinking alcohol

Shockingly, nearly 80 percent of vapers younger than age 40 say they feel safe vaping. 

Yet nearly 50 percent said they planned to quit as part of a New Year’s resolution.  

Collin Czarnecki, lead researcher of the survey conducted by Harmony Healthcare IT, a health data management firm, said the findings show that more awareness needs to be spread on the dangers of vaping, particularly for young adults. 

It comes on the heels of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Thursday announcement of a ban on most flavored e-cigarettes to curb the rise of youth vaping.

In a recent survey, 77 percent of currently vapers under 40 said they believe using e-cigarettes was healthier than smoking cigarettes and 60 percent said it was healthier drinking alcohol

In a recent survey, 77 percent of currently vapers under 40 said they believe using e-cigarettes was healthier than smoking cigarettes and 60 percent said it was healthier drinking alcohol

For the report, the team surveyed nearly 2,000 e-cigarette users in the US between ages 18 and 38.

Participants were asked questions about what they vaped, how much, how quickly and for how long they’ve vaped, as well as queries on their views are on e-cigarettes.

About 40 percent of the young adults said they vaped just nicotine, 30 percent said they vaped only cannabis and the remaining 30 percent said they used both.

Nearly one-third of users said it took two days or less to finish a pod or cartridge of cannabis or nicotine.

Vaping one nicotine pod – which in many cases is little bigger than a thumbnail – is equivalent to smoking two or three packs of cigarettes.

‘There are a lot of misconceptions about health and vaping since it became a bigger trend in the last couple of years,’ Czarnecki told DailyMail.com.

‘It might seem to be “healthier” because you’re not physically smoking, but depending on the frequency of how much you’re vaping, you’re still getting a lot of nicotine.’ 

When asked about healthy they thought vaping was, 77 percent said they believed it was healthier than smoking cigarettes and 60 percent said it was healthier than drinking alcohol. 

About 70 percent said they believed it was unhealthy overall, but close to 80 percent said they felt safe vaping. 

Researchers also asked the participants about the recent spate of vaping-related illnesses which have sickened 2,561 and killed 55.

Fifty-nine percent said they were concerned about the ‘outbreak’ and 50 percent said they had reduced how much they were vaping because of it.

An additional 56 percent said they were considering quitting vaping because of the illnesses, although 48 percent said it was also a New Year’s resolution.

56 percent of respondents said they were considering quitting vaping because of the recent 'outbreak of vaping-related illnesses

56 percent of respondents said they were considering quitting vaping because of the recent ‘outbreak of vaping-related illnesses

Researchers also asked the participants how many people had developed EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung illness

Seventy-nine said it was less than 500 people, more than three-fold fewer than the actual number. At the time of the survey, there 1,888 cases.

Most of the victims are male with 80 percent under the age of 35.

‘There is not enough education or awareness about what’s going on,’ said Czarnecki.

‘That’s why need to direct that message to younger vapes and put all our resources into preventing these numbers from rising.’

The FDA announced its own attempt to slow down the rising rates of youth vapers by banning all flavors aside from tobacco and menthol.  

‘The United States has never seen an epidemic of substance use arise as quickly as our current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes,’ Health Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

‘We will not stand idly by as this crisis among America’s youth grows and evolves, and we will continue monitoring the situation and take further actions as necessary.’



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