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Use of Electronic Cigarettes Among Cancer Survivors in the U.S.

      Introduction

      The population-level patterns of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among cancer survivors in the U.S. are unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence and correlates of e-cigarette use among cancer survivors in a nationally representative sample.

      Methods

      A cross-sectional analysis was conducted of the 2014 National Health Interview Survey of the U.S. non-institutionalized civilian population. The main study outcomes were the prevalence and correlates of ever and current e-cigarette use among adults with self-reported history of cancer, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (N=2,695). Multivariable logistic regression analyses examined whether e-cigarette use differed by cigarette smoking status and demographic subgroups. The analyses were performed in 2015.

      Results

      The prevalence of e-cigarette use among adult cancer survivors was lower than the general population: 2.8% of cancer survivors reported currently using e-cigarettes and an additional 6.3% had previously used e-cigarettes but were not currently using them. Use of e-cigarettes was most common among cancer survivors who currently smoked cigarettes: 34.3% of current smokers were ever e-cigarette users and 15.6% were current e-cigarette users, compared with former smokers (2.7% ever and 1.4% current e-cigarette users) and never smokers (small sample/estimates unavailable).

      Conclusions

      E-cigarettes are not part of current evidence-based smoking-cessation strategies. However, the finding that cancer survivors who currently smoke cigarettes are more likely to use e-cigarettes highlights the importance of addressing e-cigarette use in patient–provider communications around tobacco cessation.
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