E-cigarette use increasing among US patients with cancer
medwireNews: US researchers report a rise in the prevalence of e-cigarette use from 2014 to 2017 among patients with cancer, while the rates of conventional smoking remained stable.
Data on 13,274 participants (age 18–85 years) of the US National Health Interview Survey who reported a cancer diagnosis showed no significant difference in the prevalence of conventional smoking over the study period, at 50.7% in 2014 and 51.9% in 2017.
However, e-cigarette use rose significantly from 8.5% in 2014 to 10.7% in 2017, an increase driven primarily by participants aged younger than 50 years and former smokers.
Writing in a research letter to JAMA Oncology, study author Nina Sanford, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues say: “Among the general population, experts worry that e-cigarettes may be creating addiction to nicotine among younger individuals who are at risk of prolonged exposure.
“Our findings prompt similar concerns regarding potential deleterious long-term consequences on oncologic outcomes and survivorship, including the potential for increased cancer risk, for which further investigation is needed.”
And they conclude that “[g]iven the unknown consequences of e-cigarette use in those with cancer, policy and guidelines are needed, including e-cigarette screening and cessation as a part of cancer survivorship counseling.”
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