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Issue Brief: E-Cigarettes and Their Use in the U.S. and Kansas

Issue brief #1 in a series of three on e-cigarettes

By Andrea N. Hinton, Linda J. Sheppard, J.D. | February 03, 2016

Issue Brief: E-Cigarettes and Their Use in the U.S. and Kansas
Photo from Istockphoto.com

E-cigarettes were invented in China more than 10 years ago and nearly 500 brands exist today worldwide. The U.S. vaping industry alone is estimated to hit $10 billion in sales by 2017. Many e-cigarette brands are owned by large tobacco companies that market them as glamorous, safer and healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes. These claims, along with increased popularity, have caused many health-related organizations (i.e. American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association) to call for increased regulation and discouragement of use among youth. The Kansas Health Institute has released the first of three issue briefs on the topic:  E-Cigarettes and Their Use in the U.S. and Kansas.

"The goal of this e-cigarette series is to inform policymakers about what e-cigarettes are and who is using them, to help explain the potential health effects of e-cigarette use, and to discuss local, state and federal regulation of e-cigarettes.” 

- Linda Sheppard, KHI senior analyst and strategy team leader

Key points of the brief include:

  • E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to inhale vapor—normally containing nicotine—and they are sold in many different styles, colors and flavors.
  • The number of teens who have ever tried e-cigarettes has risen significantly across the U.S. between 2011 and 2014. However, Kansas data has not shown a similar increase for teens. 
  • Current tobacco smokers are most likely to have tried or currently use e-cigarettes.
  • The number of adults who have tried e-cigarettes has risen significantly in Kansas: 14.3 percent in 2013, up from 8.6 percent in 2012. E-cigarette users are more likely to be younger and less educated than non-users.

This series on e-cigarettes includes three briefs: 

The Kansas Health Institute delivers credible information and research enabling policy leaders to make informed health policy decisions that enhance their effectiveness as champions for a healthier Kansas. The Kansas Health Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy and research organization based in Topeka, established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.