More American adults identified as vapers in 2018 than 2016, according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The overall 11% jump in vapers was due in large part to those in the 18- to 24-year-old age group, which increased from 9% in 2016 to 15% in 2018. Users crossed all socioeconomic age groups, researchers said.
Lead author Dr. Olufunmilayo Obisesan said the data points to users transitioning from experimental use of vapes to addiction to the nicotine in them. “Increase in e-cigarette use among adults in the U.S., particularly daily use, is reflective of the addictive potential of e-cigarettes,” she said. “This is very important to note, particularly for the youth and for individuals who currently use or are considering using them as a means of experimentation.”
This theory was backed up by an increase in never-smokers who picked up the habit. Researchers speculated that the increase could be due to the addictive nature of vapes, with some containing as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.
A separate study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois released earlier this year found that teenagers who were unhappy with their lives and in search of new sensations turned to risky behaviors like vaping, though they didn’t view vaping as being harmful.
Regardless of the lure, the increase in vaping has raised red flags with medical and public health officials. “The increase in e-cigarette use among individuals with other health-risk behaviors is also concerning, particularly in light of the outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injuries that has been linked to the vaping of tetrahydrocannabinoids [THC],” Obisesan said. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.
The vape-related lung injury peaked in September 2019 and, as of February 2020, has sent more than 2,800 people to the hospital and killed at least 68.
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt, Sydney Everett, James Lampkin, Beau Darley, Soo Seok Yang, and Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing a number of individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. These lawyers currently make up our firm’s JUUL Litigation Team. Lawsuits have also been filed on behalf of school districts and public entities across the country, which seek to protect students and recover resources spent fighting the vaping epidemic. If you have a potential claim or need more information on JUUL, contact any of the lawyers on the team.