One reason e-cigarettes are gaining ground among young adults is that they are significantly less expensive than traditional cigarettes. Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day comes out to almost $2,300 a year on average, while the figure could be as low as a few hundred dollars with e-cigarettes.

The CDC reports that increasing the price of tobacco products is the single most effective way to reduce consumption, especially among young adults who are two to three times more price sensitive to tobacco prices than adults.

Tobacco companies today offer such a wide range of products that appeal to a variety of preferences—a trend that’s a major challenge in slowing the growth of overall tobacco product use. For example, while e-cigarettes are most popular among teens, this analysis finds that among adults, the current use of e-cigarettes is positively correlated with the proportion of whites in a metropolitan area (correlation of 23 percent), while it is actually negatively correlated with the proportion of blacks (-7 percent), who, on average, prefer regular cigarettes (a positive correlation of 17 percent).

The analysis also finds a statistically significant relationship between the usage of electronic cigarettes and depression. This is consistent with CDC data reporting that among adults who report serious psychological distress, more than 40 percent used any tobacco product, compared with less than 20 percent of the population without serious mental distress.

The relationship between tobacco use and mental illness may suggest that those who suffer from psychological ailments are more likely to use e-cigarettes to alleviate stress; worse so, one could postulate that the actual use of e-cigarettes or other tobacco products increases the likelihood of mental health issues. Furthermore, this analysis discovered that smaller metropolitan areas are experiencing higher e-cigarette usage compared to larger ones. Coupled with smaller budgets for awareness campaigns and mental health care, small metropolitan areas might be the most vulnerable to the surge in e-cigarettes.

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Heytutor Blog – October 19, 2019.

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