Washington: Researchers have showed that many young parents are using electronic cigarettes, and despite any evidence for safety, the vast majority of young adults who have used the devices believe they are less harmful than regular cigarettes.
To determine how often and why young adults use e-cigarettes, researchers surveyed a random sample of 3,253 adults in September 2013. Eighty-eight percent completed the survey.
Eight percent were young adults ages18-24 years old, and 22 percent were parents.
Participants were asked if they had heard of electronic cigarettes and if they had ever tried them. They also were asked if they currently smoke cigarettes or if they had smoked in the past.
Results showed that 13 percent of parents had tried electronic cigarettes, and 6 percent reported using the devices in the past 30 days. In addition, 45 percent of parents who had tried electronic cigarettes and 49 percent who reported using them in the past 30 days had never smoked regular cigarettes, or were former smokers.
Parents reported several reasons for using electronic cigarettes: 81 percent said e-cigarettes might be less harmful than cigarettes to people around them; 76 percent said e-cigarettes are more acceptable to non-tobacco users; and 72 percent said they could use the devices in places where smoking cigarettes isn't allowed.
All young adults who reported using e-cigarettes said they used devices that contained menthol or fruit flavor compared to 65 percent of adults ages 25 and older. Young adults also were less likely than older adults to use e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking (7 percent vs. 58 percent).