The products have become popular among kids and young adults, in part because of a perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes. The use of creative flavors has also led to charges that the manufacturers deliberately court the youth market.
E-cigarettes are also used by those who are looking for a traditional cigarette substitute or are trying to quit, though no e-cigarette has been shown to safely help people quit. About a third of people who reported using multiple tobacco products smoked both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, the study said.
While cigarettes’ popularity has steadily declined since the 1960s, their use remains high in certain populations, including those with low incomes and living in rural areas, according to the study. Those disparities should be addressed through strategies like increasing product prices, running educational campaigns and regulating products, researchers said.