(HealthDay News) — Nearly 13 percent of American adults have tried electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) at least once, and 3.7 percent currently use them, according to the 2014 National Health Interview Survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The popularity of e-cigarettes rose slightly among men (14.2 percent) and dipped among women (11.2 percent). But the most dramatic usage differences break along age lines, the poll of 36,697 adults found. Almost 22 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 said they had tried the battery-powered aerosol nicotine-delivery device, while usage among those 65 and older was 3.7 percent.
Current users also tend to be younger, with 5.1 percent of those 18 to 24 saying they now use e-cigarettes, compared with 1.4 percent of those 65 and older. And among never-smokers, the usage was also highest among the 18-to-24 age group. According to the report, e-cigarette popularity is greatest among white and Native American adults, with 4.6 and 10.7 percent, respectively, now using them. Only 2 percent of blacks and Hispanics use them.
About 48 percent of current smokers have tried an e-cigarette and one in six currently use them. About 55 percent of those who stopped smoking just in the last year have tried them, and 22 percent said they currently use them. By contrast, only 3.2 percent of never-smoking adults said they’ve tried an e-cigarette, and 0.4 percent said they use them now. Among young (aged 18 to 24) never-smokers, however, 9.7 percent said they’ve tried one out.