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Brand Loyalty Low Among Teen E-Cig Users

Half of surveyed users did not know which brand they used

Half of teens who use e-cigarettes reported vaping no particular brand, and about a third reported using e-cigarette devices for substances other than nicotine, according to an analysis of recent survey data by researchers from the CDC.

The most commonly reported e-cigarette used by the middle school and high school students participating in the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) was the heavily promoted brand ‘blu’, manufactured by Fontem Ventures-Imperial Brands (formerly Imperial Tobacco Group).

Roughly one in four surveyed teen e-cigarette users (26.4%) reported using that brand, while 12.2% reported using the next most popular brand, ‘VUSE’, manufactured by R.J. Reynolds.

The survey results were reported Thursday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“Electronic cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youths; in 2015, 5.3% of middle school students and 16% of high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days,” CDC researcher Tushar Singh, MD, PhD, and colleagues wrote, adding that not much has been known about the brands preferred by teens and the substances used in e-cigarette devices.

The analytic sample of the 2015 NYTS included 4,021 students who reported ever using e-cigarettes, “even once or twice.” Respondents were asked what brands of e-cigarettes they had used, with eight specific brands listed, and whether they had ever used an e-cigarette device for vaping a substance other than nicotine.

Data were weighted to account for the complex survey design and to adjust for nonresponse. Prevalence estimates were also reported for the type of e-cigarette ever used, brands, and whether e-cigarettes were used for substances other than nicotine.

A total of 13.5% of sixth through eighth graders and 37.7% of ninth through 12th graders reported ever-use of e-cigarettes.

Among the adolescents reporting ever having used an e-cigarette, 14.5% used only disposable e-cigarettes, 53.4% used only rechargeable/refillable e-cigarettes, and 32.1% used both types.

Half of the student respondents (50.7%, representing 3.18 million teens) did not know the brand of the e-cigarette they had used.

Use of e-cigarettes for a substance other than nicotine was similar among middle school (33.7%) and high school (32.2%) users, and it was higher among males than females (37.3% of high school male e-cigarette users versus 26.2% of high school female respondents).

In a separate survey of high school age e-cigarette users in Connecticut, reported last year in Pediatrics, 18% of respondents reported using cannabis in an e-cigarette device.

“In the present analysis, it is unknown whether students who had used an e-cigarette for a non-nicotine substance had also used an e-cigarette for nicotine, which might underestimate nicotine use,” Singh and colleagues wrote.

“Nicotine content in e-cigarettes is of public health concern because exposure to nicotine is the main cause of tobacco product dependence, and nicotine exposure during adolescence, a critical period for brain development, can cause addiction, can harm brain development, and could lead to sustained tobacco product use among youths.”

Study limitations cited by the researchers included the self-reported nature of the survey, the limited number of specific e-cigarette brands included in the survey, and the lack of data on which substances other than nicotine were being used.

The researchers concluded that increased monitoring of product types, brands, and ingredients preferred by adolescent e-cigarette users is warranted, “to guide measures to prevent and reduce use of e-cigarettes among youths.”

Teens are vaping more than ever, and not just nicotine

The latest report from the CDC digs into teens’ relationship with ecigarettes

Vaping is more popular with teens than ever, with more than one-third of high school students reporting having tried e-cigarettes. And teens aren’t always using e-cigs for nicotine, according to a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that dug into teen vaping behavior.

To evaluate e-cig use, the CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration poured through surveys filled out by 17,000 middle and high school students across the US in 2015. About 38 percent of high school students and 13 percent of middle school students reported that they’ve tried e-cigarettes.

That could be an underestimate, too, since the students were reporting their own behavior, and surveys based on self-reports are known to be unreliable.

The CDC is interested in vaping is because we still don’t know exactly how using e-cigarettes could affect a teen’s development. A medical group in the UK lauded e-cigs as useful tools to help current smokers quit, but the CDC said in a statement there’s no evidence that they work. What’s more, e-cig use during adolescence could kickstart an addiction, and the US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warns that nicotine in any form is unsafe for teenagers. Still, more than 3 million teens used e-cigs in 2015, a tenfold increase over four years that Murthy called a public health crisis. But to stop it, the CDC has to understand it better.

In today’s report, one-third of e-cigarette users reported using their devices for something other than nicotine. This was more common for male white and Hispanic students than non-Hispanic black students. The survey didn’t get into what exactly the students were using their vape pens for, if not nicotine. But other studies point to pot as the most likely substance.

More than half of the e-cig users stuck to reusable electronic cigarettes — the ones you can refill with new liquid nicotine cartridges — as opposed to the disposable kind.

Although most of the students didn’t know what brand they were using, the ones who did used blu and VUSE most frequently.

Both of these brands are owned by big tobacco companies, and are among the most heavily advertised. Millions of teens are exposed to ads for ecigarettes online and in stores. These ads take a leaf out of big-tobacco’s book, promising independence and sex appeal to manipulate people into buying. And they work: more exposure to e-cig advertisements corresponds with more e-cig use in young adults, according to previous CDC research.

The CDC has repeatedly called for restricting e-cig marketing, but they have no control over advertisements. But regulation of the devices is growing; just this year, the FDA ruled that e-cigarettes and vape pens fall under the regulatory umbrella of tobacco products, which means the agency can ban sales to people under 18. We’ll see if the numbers of teenage users drop when the CDC analyzes the data from 2016.

Big Tobacco wins big with vaping

http://www.heraldnet.com/opinion/big-tobacco-wins-big-with-vaping/

Big Tobacco, with its legion of lobbyists, and evil geniuses, is almost always a step ahead of regulators and health officials. It wasn’t until May of this year that the FDA finally finalized a rule extending its authority to all nicotine products — including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and pipe tobacco, among others. The lack of such authority is why we saw ads for nicotine vaping products on TV, and such products sold legally to teens and kids.

When cigarette smoking rates among teens hit historic lows in the past decade, flavored products (from cigars to vaping) filled the void. When the FDA announced the oversight change, it cited research by the agency and the CDC showing current e-cigarette use among high school students has skyrocketed from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015 (an over 900 percent increase) and hookah use has risen significantly. In 2015, 3 million middle and high school students were current e-cigarette users, and data showed high school boys smoked cigars at about the same rate as cigarettes.

A separate study by the FDA and the National Institutes of Health shows that in 2013-2014, nearly 80 percent of current youth tobacco users reported using a flavored tobacco product in the past 30 days – with the availability of appealing flavors consistently cited as a reason for use, the FDA reported.

And now, a new, disturbing study shows just how successfully Big Tobacco is cultivating more nicotine addicts, and how belated the FDA was to take action to oversee the new products. The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that teenagers with a regular vaping habit aren’t just more likely to take up smoking — they have higher odds of developing a heavy cigarette habit, Reuters reported.

Vaping devices have been advertised as way to help smokers quit, but the lead author of the study says his findings call that cessation claim into question.

“Our most recent study is the first to show that teenagers who vape not only experiment with cigarettes, but are also more likely to become regular smokers,” said Adam Leventhal, director of the University of Southern California’s Emotion and Addiction Laboratory in Los Angeles.

Rather than keeping kids and teens from smoking, the flavored nicotine products can act as bridge to smoking, said Dr. Brian Primack, a University of Pittsburgh researcher who wasn’t involved in the study.

“… young people who may not have otherwise ended up smoking started with palatable, flavored e-cigarettes — and then after they became accustomed to e-cigarette use, many transitioned to traditional cigarette smoking,” Primack told Reuters. Which is exactly what is happening.

Tobacco usage linked to 40% of all cancers in US

http://cw39.com/2016/11/11/tobacco-usage-linked-to-40-of-all-cancers-in-us/

Almost everyone knows tobacco can cause cancer— but did you know just how much cancer it can cause?

As it turns out, tobacco is responsible for nearly half of all cancer diagnosis in the nation, according to a new report from the Center for Disease Control. An estimated 40 percent of all cancer cases in the United States can be linked to tobacco usage.

And it’s not just lung cancer.

The CDC reports tobacco can cause cancers of the mouth and throat, the voice box, esophagus, stomach, kidney, pancreas, liver, bladder, cervix, colon and rectum, and a even a type of leukemia.

Around 343,000 people died from cancer each year between 2009 and 2013, the report said. Researchers said smoking is the main cause, and kicking the habit is the key to reducing cancer risk.

There are nearly 36 million smokers in the county, and because smoking changes a person’s DNA, some suffer from permanent brain damage. The research also revealed smoking is just four to five packs of cigarettes in your lifetime can cause permanent cell mutations in your lungs— that look kind of like scars.

However, doctors said there are a lot of thing that can revert back when you quit smoking, so there’s still a good reason to quit.

About 1.3 million lives have been saved as smoking rates have continued to drop since 1990, the CDC reports.

It’s simple. If you want to bring down your chances of getting cancer, then you should stop lighting up!

Tobacco linked to 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in U.S.

http://www.wilx.com/content/news/Tobacco-Cancer-Link-400772071.html

The number of people who smoke has fallen significantly, but tobacco use remains a factor in a large percentage of cancers.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control links tobacco to 40-percent of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S.

Smoking doesn’t just cause lung cancer. It’s also linked to cancers of the mouth and throat, voice box, esophagus, stomach, kidney,

colon, bladder and even a form of leukemia.

C.D.C. data also shows fewer Americans are smoking. About 20-percent of adults smoked in 2005.

That number fell to 15-percent last year.

Nearly two-thirds of smokers also use e-cigarettes, CDC says

http://www.omaha.com/livewellnebraska/health/nearly-two-thirds-of-smokers-also-use-e-cigarettes-cdc/article_bfd5256e-a2d8-11e6-a78c-5323b0e6b11c.html

Many American adults who use electronic cigarettes also smoke tobacco cigarettes, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey reveals.

The survey found that in 2015, 59 percent of all adult e-cigarette users were also current cigarette smokers. The survey also showed that 30 percent of e-cigarette users were former smokers and 11 percent using the devices had never smoked.

Among young adults ages 18 to 24, 40 percent of e-cigarette users were never smokers, 43 percent were current smokers and 17 percent were former smokers.

“If there is a public health benefit to the emergence of e-cigarettes, it will come only if they are effective at helping smokers stop using cigarettes completely, responsibly marketed to adult smokers and properly regulated to achieve these goals,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Altogether, 3.5 percent of all U.S. adults were e-cigarette users in 2015, down slightly from 3.7 percent in 2014, the CDC survey found.

Myers said these findings raise concerns that many adults using e-cigarettes are using the devices in addition to tobacco cigarettes, rather than in place of them.

Myers’ organization also said the finding that 40 percent of young adults who use e-cigarettes have never been smokers raises concerns that e-cigarettes may be introducing young nonsmokers to tobacco use and nicotine addiction.

There has been a sharp increase in use of e-cigarettes by youth. In 2015, 24 percent of high school students were current users of e-cigarettes, compared to 11 percent who smoked cigarettes, a previous CDC survey found.

E-cigarettes “will not benefit public health if smokers use them in addition to cigarettes instead of quitting or if they re-glamorize tobacco use among young people and attract nonsmokers,” Myers said in a Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids statement.

Current evidence on whether e-cigarettes help smokers quit is limited and inconclusive, he said.

E-cig studies provide more conflicting outcomes on potential harm

http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/e-cig-studies-provide-more-conflicting-outcomes-on-potential-harm/article_f1bf6e4b-90e8-5c52-86c5-f845e4808150.html

Another week, another release of studies that have conflicting outcomes on the attractiveness and potential risk of electronic cigarettes, particularly to young adults.

One report, from researchers at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, determined that government agencies and public-health advocates may be providing an incomplete assessment of smoking e-cigs and vaporizers.

“The proportion of American adults who perceive e-cigarettes to be equally or more harmful than traditional cigarettes has tripled over the last few years (from 12 percent to 35 percent), highlighting the need for more accurate public-health messaging,” according to the researchers. Their study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The other report, from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that 40 percent of current e-cigs smokers ages 18 to 24 had never tried traditional cigarettes before consuming e-cigs and vaporizers, while 43 percent were current traditional cigarette smokers.

By comparison, nearly all adults at least 45 years old were listed as a current or former traditional cigarette consumer.

The CDC report determined that 3.5 percent of adult Americans, or about 8.7 million, were current e-cig users in 2015. The report did not provide how many young adults were current e-cig users.

E-cigs, such as the top-selling Vuse brand by R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., typically are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge and create a vapor that is inhaled. Vaporizers can be supplied and reused through the insertion of a liquid capsule.

Neither report broke new ground per se.

But until a universally accepted definitive study is released, the two reports add more evidence to support either anti-tobacco advocates, who promote a “quit or die” approach to tobacco products, or anti-smoking advocates, who believe reduced-risk tobacco and nicotine products can play a pivotal role in decreasing the number of traditional cigarette consumers.

For example, anti-smoking advocates have explained the increase in young adults consuming e-cigs as experimentation typical of individuals their age, and a better alternative than traditional cigarettes.

The Georgia State researchers based their report on data from the Tobacco Products and Risk Perception surveys from 2012 through 2015. Nearly 16,000 adults completed the surveys.

Researchers said the proportion of adult smokers who thought e-cigs were addictive more than doubled from 25 percent in 2012 to nearly 57 percent in 2015. Similar trends were seen in non-smoking adults.

“Although the impact of long-term use of e-cigarettes on health is still unknown, the available scientific evidence indicates that e-cigarettes are less harmful than combustible cigarettes,” the researchers said.

Some studies, including from the Royal College of Physicians, have claimed that e-cigs and vaporizers are up to 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

However, a pivotal component of the Food and Drug Administration’s tighter e-cig and vaporizer regulations was that they were necessary to limit or thwart the use of nicotine and tobacco products by youth. The regulations, which went into effect Aug. 8, ban the sale nationwide of those products to anyone under age 18.

Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said May 5 that “there are still many open questions about are e-cigarettes a gateway to smoking more harmful products.”

However, most recent federal reports have shown a significant decline in youth smoking of traditional cigarettes in the past 10 years.

Interestingly, among the sponsors of the Georgia State study is the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

“Our public health messages should accurately convey to cigarette smokers that switching completely to e-cigarettes would reduce their risks even if e-cigarettes are addictive and not risk-free,” said Dr. Michael Eriksen, dean of Georgia State’s School of Public Health.

Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, responded to the CDC data by saying it “raises fresh concerns that a large majority of adult e-cigarette users are using e-cigarettes in addition to regular cigarettes rather than in place of them.”

“If there is a public health benefit to the emergence of e-cigarettes, it will come only if they are effective at helping smokers stop using cigarettes completely, responsibly marketed to adult smokers and properly regulated to achieve these goals.”

In August, a national study on youth vaporizer use determined that up to 65 percent of students consume the products for flavor, compared with 20 percent for nicotine.

University of Michigan researchers said the results “challenge the common assumption that all vaporizer users inhale nicotine.” The results were published in the publication Tobacco Control.

Patrick Miech, the lead Michigan researcher, said in an email to the Journal that “vaping is a case where the science has yet to catch up with policy, which seems to be guided more by emotion and anecdote than hard facts.”

Scott Ballin, past chairman of the Coalition on Smoking or Health, has called for “all stakeholders to curtail their public relations efforts and call for scientific cooperation, monitoring and surveillance.”

Scientists stunned by new report about smoking

http://www.morningticker.com/2016/10/scientists-stunned-by-new-report-about-smoking/

A new report about smoking suggests that the effects of vaping on the habit may be completely misunderstood.

An alarming new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that vaping might not be the easy cure to smoking that we thought it was, because many adults who use e-cigarettes also smoke tobacco cigarettes.

A total of 59 percent of all adult e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes, and just 30 percent of e-cigarette users were former smokers, with the remaining 11 percent made up of people who had never smoked before.

A total of 40 percent of e-cig users between the ages of 18-24 were never-smokers, indicating this actually may be a new way to get people hooked on smoking or vaping, especially for young people. About 43 percent were current smokers and 17 percent were former smokers in that age group.

The new report follows a September statement from the CDC showing a rise in vaping in teens.

“The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., in the statement. “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes.”

“About 90 percent of all smokers begin smoking as teenagers,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health. “We must keep our youth from experimenting or using any tobacco product. These dramatic increases suggest that developing strategies to prevent marketing, sales, and use of e-cigarettes among youth is critical.”

QuickStats: Cigarette Smoking Status Among Current Adult E-cigarette Users, by Age Group

Download (PDF, 177KB)

CDC: Majority of e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes

http://thehill.com/regulation/healthcare/303120-majority-of-e-cigarette-users-also-smoke-cigarettes-cdc-finds

A majority of adults who use electronic cigarettes also smoke traditional cigarettes, according to a federal survey released Thursday.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that 58.8 percent of adult e-cigarette users in 2015 were also current cigarette smokers and another 29.8 percent were former cigarette smokers.

Older e-cigarette users were more likely to have been cigarette smokers, according to the survey.

Among e-cigarette users 45 years or older, 98.7 percent were either current or former cigarette smokers while 1.3 percent had never been a cigarette smoker before. Among adults ages 18 to 24, 40 percent had never been smokers before.

The data is raising new concerns among health advocacy groups.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said the data shows a large majority of adult e-cigarette users in the U.S. are using e-cigarettes in addition to regular cigarettes, rather than in place of them, and that e-cigarettes may be introducing young non-smokers to tobacco use and nicotine addiction.

“If there is a public health benefit to the emergence of e-cigarettes, it will come only if they are effective at helping smokers stop using cigarettes completely, responsibly marketed to adult smokers and properly regulated to achieve these goals,” Matthew Myers, the group’s president, said in a statement.

“They will not benefit public health if smokers use them in addition to cigarettes instead of quitting or if they re-glamorize tobacco use among young people and attract non-smokers,” he added.