Statistics show a decline in smoking and an increase in vaping.

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Smoking has been on a steady decline for decades, and according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 15.1 percent of adults smoked cigarettes in 2015. That number is down 1.7 percent from 2014 and nearly 10 percent since 1997.

The CDC’s last recorded significant spike in the number of Americans who smoke was in 1983. Since the mid-‘80s, smoking has been on a steady decline for both adult males and females. The gradual decline coincides with increased public understanding and awareness of the risks associated with smoking.

But that 15 percent figure does not include e-cigarettes or vaping. Starting in August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will apply and enforce key provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act as it relates to the sale, marketing and manufacturing of e-cigarettes.

The main component of e-cigarettes is the e-liquid cartridges that contain nicotine extract from tobacco that is commonly mixed with propylene glycol and assorted flavorings, colors and chemicals. Propylene glycol is a liquid alcohol that is used as a solvent, in antifreeze and the food, plastics and perfume industries.

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A report from Britain’s Royal College of Physicians published a study in April stating that the vapor method of smoking tobacco is “likely less harmful” than traditional methods of smoking. Although vaping developers claim this process removes the harmful tars and cancer-causing chemicals associated with smoking, the experts agree it’s too soon to make such claims.

The Royal College study concluded that long-term risks of vaping remain unknown. The study stated there is a high probability that vaping could lead to an increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The American Lung Association also warns of the potential harm from secondhand vapor emissions that contain formaldehyde, benzene, carcinogens and other irritants

Sources

The American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and National Institute on Drug Abuse.