Prevalence of e-cigarette in China: preliminary findings from two surveys
Yi Nan 1
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Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Tobacco Control Office, China
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A271
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China is the world´s largest tobacco producer and consumer, in recent years has become the world´s largest producer of e-cigarette. According to media reports, China-made e-cigarette is mainly exported to foreign countries, and e-cigarette are not popular in China, but such conclusions need support from surveillance data.

Data of 2015 China Adult Tobacco Survey (CATS) and International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project China Survey (ITC China Survey) were analyzed to describe rate of awareness and prevalence on e-cigarette. 2015 CATS is a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of adults aged 15 and over. ITC China survey is a cohort study designed to measure the impact of tobacco control policies on tobacco users over time. Between 2006 and 2015, five survey waves were conducted among a cohort of adult smokers and non-smokers in China.

The CATS found that 40.5% of adults had heard of e-cigarette and 3.1% of adults had ever tried e-cigarette, these two rates are higher among male, urban, young and educated groups. Only 0.5% of adults reported using e-cigarette currently, but most of them are occasional users. ITC China survey revealed that the percentage of smokers who had ever heard of e-cigarette went up from 29% (wave 3, 2009) to 60% (wave5, 2014). Similarly, percentage of smokers who had ever tried e-cigarette went up from 2% (wave3, 2009) to 11% (wave5, 2014). Among smokers who had tried e-cigarette at Wave 5, only 8% reported they were using currently.

Although rate of current e-cigarette use is relatively low, attention should be paid to the fact that rate of awareness and ever tried use were going up among smokers. E-cigarette prevalence indicators should be included in tobacco use monitoring system, and more researches need be conducted to understand the characteristics of the population using e-cigarette.

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