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M-12: Prevalence and characteristics of electronic cigarette use among individuals with COPD in the United States

Poster Presenter

      Anne Shah

      • PhD candidate
      • Virginia Commonwealth University
        United States


Electronic cigarette (e-cig) use among smokers is increasingly used as a method to quit or reduce tobacco consumption. This study examines the prevalence and characteristics of e-cig use among COPD individuals in the United States.


National Health Interview Survey data was used to generate the prevalence estimates for current and ever e-cig users among COPD patients. Among current e-cig users with COPD, descriptive statistics and a logistic regression analysis were performed to identify sociodemographic predictors for usage.


Among COPD patients = 18 years of age (weighted N =7,434,218), 8.65% (Weighted N = 642,848) were current e-cig users and 24.37% (Weighted N = 1,793,828) were ever e-cig users. Among COPD individuals currently using e-cigs, most smoked tobacco too (68%). Users were also more likely to be women (62%), white (90%), between 45-64 years of age (57%), residing in south (54%), currently not working (68%), overweight/obese (74%), and have tried quitting tobacco use in the past year (62%). Bivariate logistic regression analysis between current e-cig use and sociodemographic variables found that the odds of currently using e-cigs were higher for those who were currently smoking (OR: 3.0; 95%CI: 1.96, 4.74), between 45-64 years of age group (OR: 1.76; 95%CI: 1.11, 2.78), residing in south (OR: 3.89; 95%CI: 1.99, 7.61), currently not working (OR: 2.19; 95%CI: 1.16, 4.12), currently using smokeless tobacco products (OR: 1.96; 95%CI: 1.50, 2.58), and having tried quitting tobacco use in past year (OR: 2.35; 95%CI: 1.52, 3.60). Multivariate logistic regression analysis of all sociodemographic variables only found one predictor to be associated with e-cigs use-- having tried to quit tobacco use in the past year (OR: 2.04; 95%CI: 1.05, 3.97).


Electronic cigarette use is significant among COPD patients. COPD is a progressive lung disease with a large economic burden to the society. Tobacco smoking plays a key role to COPD development. Safer substitutes for tobacco smoking like e-cigs may reduce the incidence of COPD and possibly reduce its progression. This could have a positive economic impact on the society. Greater use of e-cigs as a smoking cessation strategy may also have a positive impact if they are found effective. Our results suggest that among individuals with COPD, current e-cig use was found to be higher among currently smoking population and among those who were trying to quit tobacco use. This might indicate that these devices were either being tried as an alternative over other smoking cessation tools or were being used as a replacement to conventional cigarette smoking. However, evidence related to safety and efficacy for these devices still remains unknown, especially among COPD patient population. Further studies related to its evolving use patterns is crucial from public health perspective.