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Electronic cigarette use among US adults in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, 2013–2014
  1. Blair N Coleman1,
  2. Brian Rostron1,
  3. Sarah E Johnson1,
  4. Bridget K Ambrose1,
  5. Jennifer Pearson2,3,
  6. Cassandra A Stanton4,5,
  7. Baoguang Wang1,
  8. Cristine Delnevo6,
  9. Maansi Bansal-Travers7,
  10. Heather L Kimmel8,
  11. Maciej L Goniewicz7,
  12. Raymond Niaura2,3,
  13. David Abrams2,3,
  14. Kevin P Conway8,
  15. Nicolette Borek1,
  16. Wilson M Compton8,
  17. Andrew Hyland7
  1. 1 Center for Tobacco Products, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  2. 2 Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies, Truth Initiative, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  3. 3 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  4. 4 Westat Inc, Rockville, Maryland, USA
  5. 5 Department of Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
  6. 6 Center for Tobacco Studies, School of Public Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  7. 7 Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA
  8. 8 National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Blair N Coleman, Division of Population Health Science, Office of Science, Center for Tobacco Products, US Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20903-1058, USA; Blair.Coleman{at}


Background Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in the USA is increasing. As such, it is critical to understand who uses e-cigarettes, how e-cigarettes are used and what types of products are prevalent. This study assesses patterns of current e-cigarette use among daily and non-daily adult users in the 2013–2014 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study.

Methods We examined the proportion of current adult e-cigarette users (n=3642) reporting infrequent use (use on ‘some days’ and use on 0–2 of the past 30 days), moderate use (use on ‘some days’ and use on >2 of the past 30 days) and daily use. We examined demographic characteristics, use of other tobacco products and e-cigarette product characteristics overall and by use category. Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) were calculated using Poisson regression to assess correlates of daily e-cigarette use.

Results Among the 5.5% of adult current e-cigarette users in the PATH Study, 42.2% reported infrequent use, 36.5% reported moderate use and 21.3% reported daily use. Cigarette smokers who quit in the past year were more likely to report daily e-cigarette use, compared with current smokers (aPR=3.21, 95% CI=2.75 to 3.76). Those who reported using rechargeable or refillable devices were more likely to report daily use compared with those who did not use these devices (aPR=1.95, 95% CI=1.44 to 2.65 and aPR=2.10, 95% CI=1.75 to 2.52, respectively).

Conclusions The majority of e-cigarette users in this study reported less than daily use. Compared with non-daily use, daily use was associated with being a former smoker; however, cross-sectional data limits our ability to establish the temporality or directionality of such associations.

  • Electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Non-cigarette tobacco products

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  • Contributors BNC designed the study and directed its implementation. BR conducted the data analysis, including quality assurance and control. SEJ, BKA, JP, CAS, MB-T, HLK, MLG, RN, DA, KPC, NB, WMC and AH contributed to the conceptual design of the study and assisted with drafting of the manuscript (eg, preparing the literature review, identifying key findings and interpretation of study findings in the Discussion section). All coauthors approved the final version of the manuscript prior to submission.

  • Funding This manuscript is supported with Federal funds from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, Departmentof Health and Human Services, under a contract to Westat (Contract No HHSN271201100027C).

  • Disclaimer This publication represents the views of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the US Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Competing interests MLG received research grant from Pfizer and served as a member of advisory board to J&J, manufacturers of smoking cessation medications. RN served as an expert witness for plaintiff versus tobacco companies. WMC reports long-term stock ownership in General Electric, 3M Companies, and Pfizer unrelated to the content of this paper. No additional financial disclosures were reported by the authors of this paper.

  • Ethics approval Westat’s Institutional Review Board approved the study design and protocol, and the Office of Management and Budget approved the data collection.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. Owing to a scripting error, some of the publisher names in the references were replaced with ‘BMJ Publishing Group’. This only affected the full text version, not the PDF. We have since corrected these errors and the correct publishers have been inserted into the references.