In 2011, about 21 percent of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes had used electronic cigarettes, also known as e cigarettes, up from about 10 percent in 2010, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, about six percent of all adults have tried e cigarettes, with estimates nearly doubling from 2010. This study is the first to report changes in awareness and use of e cigarettes between 2010 and 2011.

During 2010 2011, adults who have used e cigarettes increased among both sexes, non Hispanic Whites, those aged 45 54 years, those living in the South, and current and former smokers and current and former smokers. In both 2010 and 2011, e cigarette use was significantly higher among current smokers compared to both former and never smokers. Awareness of e cigarettes rose from about four in 10 adults in 2010 to six in 10 adults in 2011.

“E cigarette use is growing rapidly,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “There is still a lot we don t know about these products, including whether they will decrease or increase use of traditional cigarettes.”

Although e cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes, the impact of e cigarettes on long term health must be studied. Research is needed to assess how e cigarette marketing could impact initiation and use of traditional cigarettes, particularly among young people.

“If large numbers of adult smokers become users of both traditional cigarettes and e cigarettes rather than using e cigarettes to quit cigarettes completely the net public health effect could be quite negative,” said Tim McAfee, MD MPH, director of the Office on Smoking and Health at CDC.

For quitting assistance, call 1 800 QUIT NOW (1 800 784 8669) or visit Also, visit for information on quitting and preventing children from using tobacco. For stories of people who have quit successfully, visit


Chicago joins new york on indoor smoking ban of e-cigarettes

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Noted by the Chicago Tribune earlier today, Chicago has become the next major U.S. city to ban the use of electronic cigarettes within indoor public buildings like restaurants, bars and offices. Similar to regular smokers, people that want to use e cigarettes will not be allowed within 15 feet of a building entrance while smoking. According to the details of the ruling, Chicago natives will be allowed to use (it’s not technically ‘smoking’) e cigarettes within retail tobacco shops and smoking rooms specifically designated by a building as well as private residences or vehicles.

The measure passed fairly handily among the city’s aldermen at a vote of 45 to 4. In addition to the new restrictions on smoking e cigarettes in public, Chicago retailers will also be required to move all e cigarette products behind the counter in order to more effectively restrict sales of the product to children. However, the state of Illinois already restricts the the sale of e cigarettes to anyone under the age of eighteen. In addition, the city has increased the tax rate on packs of standard cigarettes by an additional 50 cents making Chicago one of the most expensive cities in the United States to purchase a pack of smokes, specifically averaging about $7.17 per pack.

When asked about the new measures to restrict e cigarettes, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said “Having worked with the FDA, having encouraged them to take steps to protect individuals and children, they are usually an agency that leads from behind. And when it comes to the city of Chicago, when it comes to the people of the city of Chicago, when it comes to the children of the city of Chicago, I do not believe we should wait.”

One of the few opponents of the indoor ban on e cigarettes, Alderman Brendan Reilly, is currently attempting to use an e cigarette to quit smoking. Regarding the measure, Reilly said “You lose me when you want to treat a product that many people are using for cessation using it as an alternative to quit when you re treating it just like the product they re trying to get away from &#8230 We re talking about treating two different products like they re one, like they re combustible cigarettes.”

While there are currently ongoing studies measuring any potential, long term health risks to smoking e cigarettes, many consumers believe that the product is far less damaging than traditional cigarettes. Rather than breathing in harmful smoke, an e cigarette user breathes in a water vapor solution that’s often laced with nicotine and some type of flavoring. In addition, e cigarettes are vastly less odoriferous than traditional cigarettes, thus more ideal for the office environment.

Prior to this ruling in Chicago, New York passed a similar measure in December 2013. The New York City Council banned the use of all e cigarette products in public places around the city, despite similar resistance from members of the government. In addition to that measure, New York also became one of the strictest states when it comes to age laws regarding the purchase of cigarettes. Starting during May 2014, New York residents under the age of 21 will not be able to purchase cigarettes.