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October 19, 2018

About 1.9 million vapers in the United States – and numbers growing

A national survey on trends in cigarette use estimates that about 1.9 million people – or 1.4 percent of the population – are vapers.

Based on more than 400,000 responses, the vast majority of them do not report smoking tobacco cigarettes regularly, according to the telephone survey led by the Centers for Disease Control and conducted by a team of researchers that included experts from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

MORE ON VAPING: FDA demands Juul, other e-cig makers address youth epidemic

E-cigarettes contain the addictive chemical nicotine, and as they are unregulated can contain other harmful chemicals. Although adults report they vape to wean themselves off of traditional cigarettes, younger generations are taking it up without ever smoking.

Published on October 9 in the "Annals of Internal Medicine," the findings suggest regulation of sales and education for young people may be needed to prevent more people from nicotine addiction.

The survey said 60 percent of vapers were younger than 25 years old. Michigan had the highest prevalence of vapers in the population; Alaska the fewest.

People who only smoked e-cigarettes also engaged in more risky behavior, including binge drinking, risky sex and drug use, the findings suggest.

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