Policy & Research


Rising Use of E-Cigarettes in U.S. and Kansas Sparks Concern (March 2019)

Federal, State and Local Regulatory Actions

By Linda J. Sheppard, J.D., Hina B. Shah, M.P.H. | March 07, 2019

Rising Use of E-Cigarettes in U.S. and Kansas Sparks Concern  (March 2019)


On September 12, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced enforcement actions taken against 1,300 electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) retailers across the country related to the illegal sale of JUUL and other e-cigarette products to minors. In a press release, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers had reached epidemic proportions.

Gottlieb’s assessment came as no surprise to those monitoring this public health issue.

This issue brief, the first of a two-part series, highlights the increased use of e-cigarettes among teens and adults as well as regulatory action at the federal, state and local levels.

Key points from the brief include:

  • The National Youth Tobacco Survey found one in five (20.8 percent) U.S. high school students in 2018 had used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days — up from 11.7 percent in 2017 and 1.5 percent in 2011.
  • An estimated 4.6 percent of Kansas adults currently use e-cigarettes, and of those, two in five (40.7 percent) users are vaping daily.
  • Half (50.3 percent) of Kansas adults who currently use e-cigarettes also currently smoke conventional cigarettes — known as “dual use.”
  • Among Kansas adults who currently use e-cigarettes, three in 10 (29.3 percent) are age 18-24.
  • With youth e-cigarette usage at “epidemic” levels, manufacturers and retailers are being monitored closely by federal, state and local regulators.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.