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Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll Finds Majority of Americans Support FDA Regulation of E-Cigarettes

Half of Those Who Try E-Cigarettes Continue to Use Them Regularly

Ann Arbor, MI, Oct. 28, 2015 — A majority of Americans say e-cigarettes should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the same way the agency handles cigarettes containing tobacco, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll.

Truven Health Analytics™ and NPR conduct a bimonthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

The latest survey asked respondents to share their views and experiences with e-cigarettes. More than half of all respondents (57 percent) said they think the FDA should regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco products. Among those surveyed, 26 percent said they currently use some type of tobacco product, and 25 percent of all respondents have tried e-cigarettes. Of those who have tried e-cigarettes, half continue to use them on a daily or less-than-daily basis.

When asked why they have tried e-cigarettes, more than half said it was to replace tobacco. Twenty seven percent tried them as a method to quit smoking, while 26 percent said they tried them as a healthier alternative or replacement to tobacco. Twenty four percent said curiosity was the motivating factor behind their e-cigarette use.

Although popularly viewed as less harmful than tobacco, 40 percent of respondents who have used e-cigarettes said they have health concerns regarding the product. That number decreases with increasing age, but is highest among those who have a college degree or higher.

“Electronic cigarettes have exploded in popularity in just a few short years, but we still know very little about the health risks associated with the technology, ” said Michael Taylor, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Truven Health Analytics. “With our data showing a 50 percent adoption rate among those who have tried e-cigarettes, it’s reasonable to expect that usage will continue to grow, even as traditional cigarette smoking declines. This is clearly an area that will require a great deal more research.”

To date, the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll has explored numerous health topics, including generic drugs, vaccines, data privacy, narcotic painkillers and sports-related concussions. NPR's reports on the surveys are archived online at the Shots health blog here.

Truven Health Analytics maintains a library of poll results here.

The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health PULSE® Healthcare Survey, the nation’s largest and longest-running independently funded, nationally representative multi-modal poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from 82, 000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3, 006 participants interviewed from August 1-15, 2015. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

About NPR

NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

About Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health Business

Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson Health™ business, provides market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics and domain expertise. For more than 40 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies and policymakers, the facts they need to make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the US and around the world. The company was acquired by IBM in 2016 to help form a new business, Watson Health. Watson Health aspires to improve lives and give hope by delivering innovation to address the world’s most pressing health challenges through data and cognitive insights.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, Advantage Suite®, Micromedex®, Simpler® and ActionOI®. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago, IL, and Denver, CO.


Brian Erni
For Truven Health Analytics
J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations