U.S. Smoking Rates Drop to Record Low Thanks to Vaping 

Flying in the face of all the fearmongering about an alleged teen vaping “epidemic” and how all this vaping is acting as a “gateway” to smoking, preliminary findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed that as US vaping rates have risen, smoking rates have dropped to an all time low.

The CDC findings are based on survey responses from over 27,000 adults. One in nine adults reported being current smokers, and one in seventeen current vapers. The local smoking rate has been consistently dropping since the mid-60’s when it was at 42%. In 2022, it dropped to 11%, from about 12.5% in 2020 and 2021, while the vaping rate rose to about 6% last year, from about 4.5% in 2021.

Meanwhile among teens, vaping has taken over, decimating smoking rates. The CDC has recently reported that last year only 2% were smoking, while 14% were vaping. Some “experts” have of course bemoaned this latter finding focusing solely on the increase in vaping, while failing to acknowledge the extensive scientific literature indicating that substituting cigarettes with vapes is a game changer for one’s health.

Finally a pro-vaping report by a reputable scientific US body
“There is conclusive evidence that completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes,”National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM)

In fact, a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), concluded once again that smokers who switch to vapes will reduce their exposure to lethal toxins and carcinogens.

Consisting of over 600 pages, the report examined the health consequences of e-cigarettes for the population and as a result presented 47 conclusions categorized by their strength of evidence with “conclusive evidence” being the strongest. “There is conclusive evidence that completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes,” concluded the document.

These findings add to existing scientific evidence indicating the relative safety of vaping. However, the highlight of this report is the fact that NASEM, which is a major U.S. scientific body, has finally reiterated what several reputable health bodies in the UK such as Public Health England, have been saying for some time with regards to the relative safety of the products.

Discussing the report, American Vaping Association (AVA) President Gregory Conley, has also emphasized this. “The bottom line for the American public is that the main conclusions of this report are consistent with those reached by respected organizations like the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England.”

“The committee’s findings also fall in line with FDA Director Scott Gottlieb’s nicotine strategy, a key element of which involves adult smokers switching to lower risk products. In the wake of this report, it is more apparent than ever that true leadership is needed in public health to ensure that adult smokers have access to truthful information about the benefits of switching to smoke-free products,” added Conley.

Similarly, the latest Cochrane review showed evidence that nicotine vapes led to higher quit rates than other nicotine products used for smoking cessation. In line with several previous studies, the study titled “Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation,” found that vapes are more effective at helping people quit smoking in comparison to other NRTs such as patches and gums. More specifically, the study found that while 6 in 100 people quit by using NRTs, 8 to 12 to quit via e-cigs.

Vaping rates are dropping too
Meanwhile, a pattern of decreasing vaping rates is also being observed across the States and worldwide. The 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) from the state of Arkansas, has recently indicated that while the increase in teen vaping rates has led to a decrease in smoking rates, vaping rates have been dropping aswell.

Every other year, public schools participate in the YRBS, which surveys youth on various behaviors including substance use patterns. The survey aims to help inform lawmakers on any policies they may be considering. The Arkansas Division of Elementary & Secondary Education recently posted the results of its state’s 2021 YRBS, which revealed that among Arkansas high school students in 2021, only 44.6% reported ever-trying vapes, 19.7% reported past-month use and only 6% of high school students were regular vapers.

These figures are lower than the ones reported in 2019. “Similar to national data, youth vaping peaked in the Natural State in 2019, when more than half (51.5%) of high school students had ever tried e-cigarettes, nearly one-fourth (24.3%) were past-month e-cigarette users, and 8.5% reported daily e-cigarette use. Between 2019 and 2021, ever-use of e-cigarettes declined by 22.9%, past-month use by 49.5%, and daily use by 60%,” disclosed IWF earlier this year.

Similarly, data from the latest Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey has revealed that vaping rates among the state’s high school students have dropped from 45% in 2019 to 32% last year.
While with regards to Arkansas, the best news yet is related to smoking, where in 2021 only 25.2% of Arkansas high school students reported ever trying smoking, 4.9% reported past-month cigarette use and less than 1% were daily smokers.