More than 1 in 10 Americans ages 18-24 are using e-cigarettes regularly, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released this week found, raising health concerns over nicotine exposure at a young age.
Around 4.5 percent of Americans use vapes overall, CDC reported — but that rate more than doubles to 11 percent among young people. Brains don’t finish developing until a person is about 25 years old, according to the agency, and nicotine could be negatively impacting that development.
While vapes may help people stop smoking cigarettes, the study found an increasing trend of users — especially young people — smoking cigarettes and vaping interchangeably. E-cigarettes are more common with people under 25, and cigarettes more common with older Americans.
“Dual use of tobacco products is a health concern because it may result in greater exposure to toxins and worse respiratory outcomes than using either product alone,” the study reads.
“In 2021, most e-cigarette users aged 18–24 had never smoked cigarettes,” it continues. “Despite this, the percentage of adults aged 18–24 who were dual users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes was similar to the percentage among adults aged 25–44 (1.8% compared with 2.0%).”
A report from the American Heart Association (AHA) this week also found that vapes can damage your heart and lungs over longterm use.
“E-cigarettes deliver numerous substances into the body that are potentially harmful, including chemicals and other compounds that are likely not known to or understood by the user,” the AHA said in a statement.
“There is research indicating that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are associated with acute changes in several hemodynamic measures, including increases in blood pressure and heart rate,” the association added.
The CDC study also found that vape usage is more common among white Americans — which make up more than 14 percent of users — than Latino, Asian or Black youth in the same age group and those in the lower income bracket. Usage is also higher in men than in woman, according to the research.
The research is based on 2021 data from a National Health Interview Survey and identifies an e-cigarette user as someone who says they vape “every day” or “some days.”
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