Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the Office on Smoking and Health at Centers for Disease Control, said in 2010 and 2011, adults who have used e-cigarettes increased among both sexes, non-Hispanic whites, those ages 45–54, those living in the South, and current and former smokers.
In both years, e-cigarette use was significantly higher among current smokers compared to both former and never smokers. Awareness of e-cigarettes rose from about 40 percent in 2010 to 60 percent of U.S. adults in 2011.
"E-cigarette use is growing rapidly," said Dr.Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. "There is still a lot we don't know about these products, including whether they will decrease or increase use of traditional cigarettes."
Although e-cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes, the impact of e-cigarettes on long-term health must be studied, Frieden said.
Research is needed to assess how e-cigarette marketing could impact initiation and use of traditional cigarettes, particularly among young people, Frieden said.