E-Cigarette Use Tied to Excess Health Care Utilization

Current use contributed to $15.1 billion in annual health care expenditures in 2018

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TUESDAY, May 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Adult current electronic cigarette use is associated with substantial excess health care utilization and associated expenditures, according to a study published online May 23 in Tobacco Control.

Yingning Wang, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues used data from the 2015 to 2018 U.S. National Health Interview Survey to estimate the impacts of e-cigarette use on health care utilization (hospital nights, emergency room visits, doctor visits, and home visits) among adults.

The researchers found that current exclusive and dual/poly e-cigarette use (0.2 and 3.5 percent prevalence, respectively, in 2015 to 2018) were associated with higher odds of reporting poor health status versus never tobacco users. There was an association between poor health status and higher odds of using the four health care services. In 2018, annual health care expenditures attributable to all current e-cigarette use were $15.1 billion ($2,024 per user), including $1.3 billion attributable to exclusive e-cigarette use ($1,796 per user) and $13.8 billion attributable to dual/poly e-cigarette use ($2,050 per user).

"Health care utilization and expenditures attributable to e-cigarette use are substantial and likely to increase over time," the authors write. "Due to the rapid evolution of e-cigarette products, the impacts of e-cigarette use on health care utilization and expenditures may change and should be closely monitored."

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