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Nearly 1 in 2 young adults in Kentucky have tried an e-cigarette

Jan 31, 2018


The 2017 Kentucky Health Issues Poll asked Kentucky adults about their experiences with e-cigarettes and their beliefs about harms associated with them. KHIP is sponsored by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

KHIP asked, “Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to inhale vaporized liquid. The vaporized liquid often contains nicotine, and some have flavorings and other ingredients. Users of e-cigarettes sometimes refer to the activity as ‘vaping,’ as opposed to smoking. Have you ever used an electronic cigarette or e-cigarette?”

Almost 3 in 10 Kentucky adults reported ever using e-cigarettes (28%). Responses varied by age. Nearly 1 in 2 young adults ages 18 to 29 said they had ever used an e-cigarette (48%). Older Kentucky adults were less likely than young adults to report e-cigarette use.

Nationally, 22% of adults reported ever using e-cigarettes.1 Similar to Kentucky, older adults were less likely to report e-cigarette use.

In Kentucky, 62% of current cigarette smokers reported ever using e-cigarettes. KHIP also asked Kentucky adults who reported using e-cigarettes about how often they used e-cigarettes. More than 1 in 10 current cigarette smokers reported using e-cigarettes some days or every day (14%). Twenty-seven percent of former cigarette smokers reported ever using e-cigarettes. Fewer than 1 in 10 former cigarette smokers reported using e-cigarettes some days or every day (7%). Overall in Kentucky, fewer than 1 in 10 adults (7%) reported currently using e-cigarettes some days or every day.

Opinions on aerosol’s harm to children differ by e-cigarette use

When people use e-cigarettes, they exhale aerosol. About 5 in 10 Kentucky adults said they believe aerosol from e-cigarettes caused little or some harm to children who breathed the aerosol (51%). Nearly 3 in 10 said it caused a lot of harm (27%). One in 10 said it caused no harm (10%) and about 1 in 10 said they did not know (11%). 

Opinions differed between those who had tried e-cigarettes and those who had not. Kentucky adults who had not tried e-cigarettes were more likely to report a lot of harm to children from the aerosol (31%) than adults who had tried e-cigarettes (17%). 

14 Kentucky communities offer protection from e-cigarette aerosol

Currently 32.7% of Kentuckians are covered by comprehensive indoor smoke-free workplace ordinances. Among the comprehensive laws in 26 communities, 14 also cover electronic cigarettes.2

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data. 2016. [accessed Dec. 21, 2017].

2 Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy. 2018. Percent of the Kentucky Population Covered by 100% Smoke-free Workplace Laws and 26 Kentucky Communities with Comprehensive Smoke-free Ordinances. [accessed Jan. 19, 2018].

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