Banning smoking on public grounds, taxing cigarettes, to improve access to health care… In the United States, the states that put in place and apply the most muscular public policies to fight against smoking are simultaneously reducing their number of traditional smokers and their number of users of electronic cigarettes. These are the results of a new study from New York University, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
“In an anti-smoking environment, our research provides a better understanding of the geographic and sociological factors that underlie the use of e-cigarettes,” says study author Omar El-Shahawy. This work is based in particular on a telephone survey of 60,000 American adults between 2012 and 2014. More than 16% of them say they have already used electronic cigarettes, but only 5.4% of them are regular users, compared to 17% of traditional cigarette consumers.
By combining these data with those of the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control reports published in 2013 and 2014, the researchers found strong variations in the consumption rates of electronic and traditional cigarettes from one US state to another. The eastern states of the United States, applying the most stringent anti-smoking measures, generally have a lower rate of consumption of traditional and electronic cigarettes than that of the South West States. For example, the use of electronic cigarettes is much lower in Delaware (2.7%) than in Oklahoma (10.3%), just as smoking is much higher in West Virginia (26%). , 1%) than in Utah (10.7%).
While anti-smoking policies have been successful in bringing down the number of smokers worldwide, e-cigarette consumers are increasing.
For the American scientific community, this new study will allow in the future to better evaluate the impact of public anti-smoking policies on the use of the electronic cigarette, whose long-term effects on health have not yet been able to to be evaluated. “Several decades of research on traditional cigarettes were needed to implement current anti-smoking policies,” says Omar El-Shahawy, “Today, there are still many unknowns about e-cigarettes.”