Trends in frequency of e-cigarette use among cancer patients and survivors in the United States, 2014–2018

Elena O. Dewar, Edward Christopher Dee, Melaku A. Arega, Chul Ahn, Nina N. Sanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have become increasingly popular in the United States, including among cancer survivors; however, the majority of prior studies do not report frequency of active e-cigarette usage. Methods: Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (2014–2018), frequency of active e-cigarette usage was estimated among cancer survivors reporting history of e-cigarette usage. Multivariable logistic regression analyses defined adjusted odds of active e-cigarette usage (either every day and some days vs. not at all) by year of survey and baseline demographic characteristics. Results: Among 1529 cancer survivors who reported ever using e-cigarettes, 1172 (76.7%) were not active users, while 145 (9.5%) and 212 (13.9%) actively used e-cigarettes every day or some days, respectively. Later year of survey was negatively associated with active e-cigarette usage (p < 0.001) as was Black race (as compared to white race, AOR 0.47, p = 0.02). Age 45–54 was positively associated with active usage (as compared to 18–34 years, AOR 1.58, p = 0.02). Notably, individuals who were former or current traditional cigarette smokers had greater odds of reporting active e-cigarette use (27.0%, AOR 4.39, p < 0.001, 23.4%, AOR 3.28, p = 0.002, respectively) as compared to never traditional cigarette smokers (7.6%). Conclusions: The majority of cancer survivors who have ever used e-cigarettes do not appear to be actively using them. Rather, our findings suggest that the reported increasing popularity of e-cigarettes may be driven by a growing absolute proportion of individuals trying e-cigarettes over time. Those who were current or former traditional cigarette smokers were more likely to actively use e-cigarettes. Our findings can help inform current policies on e-cigarettes and contextualize studies on long-term effects of e-cigarettes among survivors of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106913
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Addiction
  • Cancer survivorship
  • E-cigarettes
  • National Health Institute Survey
  • Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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