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Gender differences influence overweight smokers' experimentation with electronic nicotine delivery systems.


INTRODUCTION:Overweight and obese tobacco users possess increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and chronic tobacco-related disease. Efforts to prevent tobacco-related health risk in this comorbid population would be informed by better understanding and monitoring of trends in the concurrent use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) among smokers in the US marketplace. METHOD:The California Longitudinal Smokers Study (CLSS) established a cohort of current cigarette smokers in 2011 who were surveyed for tobacco use and health behavior at baseline and again in 2012 at follow-up. RESULTS:We observed a large increase in reported experimentation with ENDS. As hypothesized, overweight or obese smokers were more likely to report experimentation with ENDS, an increase that was also observed among women. Experimentation with ENDS was not associated with a reduction in use of cigarettes or a decrease in cigarette dependence in this high risk population of smokers. CONCLUSIONS:Continued surveillance of this vulnerable population is needed to better understand how experimentation with new ENDS products may impact health, facilitate switching to non-combustible tobacco or facilitate persistent cigarette dependence.

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