Electronic Cigarette Use Among Adults: United States, 2014

October 28, 2015

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered products that typically deliver nicotine in the form of an aerosol. E-cigarettes have been marketed as both a smoking cessation tool and an alternative to conventional cigarettes.

Results from several studies suggest recent rapid increases in e-cigarette use. In light of ongoing declines in conventional cigarette smoking prevalence, it is important to understand the extent to which e-cigarettes are being used among U.S. adults, both overall and by conventional cigarette smoking status.

A new NCHS report provides the first estimates of e-cigarette use among U.S. adults from a nationally representative household interview survey, by selected demographic and cigarette smoking characteristics.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2014, 12.6% of adults had ever tried an e-cigarette even one time, with use differing by sex, age, and race and Hispanic or Latino origin.
  • About 3.7% of adults currently used e-cigarettes, with use differing by age and race and Hispanic or Latino origin.
  • Current cigarette smokers and former smokers who quit smoking within the past year were more likely to use e-cigarettes than former smokers who quit smoking more than 1 year ago and those who had never smoked.
  • Among current cigarette smokers who had tried to quit smoking in the past year, more than one-half had ever tried an e-cigarette and 20.3% were current e-cigarette users.
  • Among adults who had never smoked cigarettes, 3.2% had ever tried an e-cigarette. Ever having used an e-cigarette was highest among never smokers aged 18–24 (9.7%) and declined with age.

Over Diagnosis of Autism Possibly Due to Difficulty Distinguishing From Other Types of Language/Developmental Delays

October 21, 2015

Autism spectrum disorder diagnoses sometimes change due to misdiagnosis, maturation, or treatment.

A new study in the publication Autism titled, “Diagnosis Lost: Differences Between Children Who Had and Who Currently Have an Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis,” uses a probability-based national survey—the Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services—to compare currently diagnosed and previously diagnosed children aged 6–17 years based on retrospective parental reports of early concerns about their children’s development, responses to those concerns by doctors and other healthcare providers, the type of provider who made the first autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, and the autism spectrum disorder subtype diagnoses received (if any).

Propensity score matching was used to control for differences between the groups on children’s current level of functioning and other current characteristics that may have been related to diagnosis loss.

Key Findings:

  • Approximately 13% of the children ever diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder were estimated to have lost the diagnosis, and parents of 74% of them believed it was changed due to new information.
  • Previously diagnosed children were less likely to have parents with early concerns about verbal skills, nonverbal communication, learning, and unusual gestures or movements. They were also less likely to have been referred to and diagnosed by a specialist.
  • Previously diagnosed children were less likely to have ever received a diagnosis of Asperger’s disorder or autistic disorder.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 2, 2015

An average of more than 41,000 women age 35 and over die of breast cancer each year in the U.S. The annual number of breast cancer deaths among women of this age have remained remarkably consistent over the past 15 years. However, the rate of death for breast cancer has been declining. Since 1987, the age-adjusted breast cancer death rate among women age 35 and up has dropped by one-third, from 66.8 deaths per 100,000 women to 46 per 100,000 in 2013, the last year national data are available.

Early detection has likely played a role in the decline in breast cancer mortality, as mammography and other screening has been on the rise. Since 1987, the percentage of women 40 years of age and up who have had a recent mammography (within the last 2 years) has more than doubled – from 29% in 1987 to nearly 66% in 2013.

Breast cancer remains the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among all women, behind lung cancer.


Racial and Gender Disparities in Suicide Among Young Adults Aged 18–24: United States, 2009–2013

October 1, 2015

Suicide is an act of violence against oneself, resulting in death. Among teenagers and young adults aged 15–24, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2013. Because patterns of suicide may be different for young adults aged 18–24 than for teens aged 15–17, a new NCHS Health E-Stat examines suicide rates and methods among young adults aged 18–24, by sex and race and Hispanic origin, using recent mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System.

In 2012–2013, young adult males aged 18–24 were more likely than young adult females to commit suicide. This relationship was found for the five race and ethnicity groups studied (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander [API], and American Indian or Alaska Native [AIAN]). The suicide rate was highest in the AIAN population for both males and females (34.3 and 9.9 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively). AIAN males were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as most other gender and racial and ethnic subgroups. Suicide rates for AIAN young adults are likely to be underestimated; a previous study found that deaths overall for the AIAN population were underreported by 30%.

Based on combined data from 2009 through 2013 for non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white young adults who committed suicide, firearms was the most common method used, followed by suffocation. For Hispanic, API, and AIAN young adults who committed suicide, suffocation was the most common method used, followed by firearms. Poisoning and falls were more common methods among API young adults who committed suicide (12.6% and 8.1% of suicide deaths, respectively) than among other race and ethnicity groups.