High prevalence of electronic cigarette use among rural youth with asthma



Mirroring the decline of cigarette smoking in recent years, electronic cigarettes have become the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youthexternal link. Given the sensitive airways among young people with asthma, it is important to know if that group is disproportionately more likely than youth without asthma to use e-cigarettes.


IRP researchers led by Kelvin Choi, Ph.D., and collaborators examined data from the 2012 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey and found that youth with asthma are significantly more likely than youth without asthma to use e-cigarettes. The behavior is particularly common among asthmatic youth residing in non-metropolitan/rural areas. The study also showed that e-cigarette use is associated with past-year acute asthma exacerbation.


The team’s findings alerted the public health community to the prevalence of e-cigarette use among young people with asthma, a population that is already highly vulnerable to respiratory problems. Their research highlighted the need to further investigate the underlying reasons for e-cigarette use among asthmatic youth and develop interventions to prevent e-cigarette use in this population, and both efforts are currently underway.


Choi K, Bernat D. (2016). E-cigarette use among Florida youth with and without asthma. Am J Prev Med. 51(4): 446-453.