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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Mar 1;196:9-13. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.11.030. Epub 2019 Jan 11.

Adverse symptoms users attribute to e-cigarettes: Results from a national survey of US adults.

Author information

1
Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, USA. Electronic address: jlking@wakehealth.edu.
2
Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, USA.
3
Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, USA.
4
Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-Gillings School of Global Public Health, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 450 West Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA.
5
Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-Gillings School of Global Public Health, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about the prevalence of adverse symptoms electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) users report experiencing.

METHODS:

Between August 2016 and May 2017, we conducted a nationally representative cross-sectional telephone survey of 4964 US adults age 18 and over. Respondents who reported ever trying e-cigarettes were asked whether they ever experienced six symptoms they thought were caused by e-cigarette use. In weighted analyses, we assessed whether symptoms varied by demographics, e-cigarette use frequency, and cigarette smoking status.

RESULTS:

Approximately one-fourth of respondents (n = 1,624, 26.8%) reported ever trying e-cigarettes. Most were current (40.3%) or former (30.7%) cigarette smokers, with 29.0% never smokers. Just over half (58.2%) reported at least one symptom and on average 1.6 (SE = 0.1) symptoms. Symptoms included cough (40.0%), dry or irritated mouth or throat (31.0%), dizziness or lightheadedness (27.1%), headache or migraine (21.9%), shortness of breath (18.1%), change in or loss of taste (12.9%), or other (6.2%; most commonly nausea, tight chest, congestion). Among past 30-day e-cigarette users, current and never cigarette smokers were more likely than former smokers to report any symptoms (AOR = 5.25, CI = 2.05-13.46 and AOR = 2.58, CI = 0.85-7.81, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

A majority of e-cigarette users reported at least one symptom, most commonly cough or dry or irritated mouth or throat. Former cigarette smokers who used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days were less likely than current or never smokers to report adverse symptoms of e-cigarette use. Future research should examine frequency of symptoms among different user groups to understand how e-cigarettes may influence public health.

KEYWORDS:

Electronic cigarette; Health symptoms

PMID:
30658221
PMCID:
PMC6377331
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.11.030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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