Objective: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is growing significantly worldwide, especially among young people. This product has been associated with renormalizing smoking and hindering quit attempts in smokers. Moreover, among nonsmokers, it can lead to subsequent cigarette smoking and nicotine dependence. The present study aimed to assess the epidemiological profile of e-cigarette users worldwide.
Study design: A systematic review was performed using 3 main electronic databases (Medline/PubMed, SCOPUS, and EMBASE). Studies were independently assessed by 2 reviewers based on established eligibility criteria. The risk of bias was assessed using the MAStARI critical appraisal instrument.
Results: From 4,496 records, 43 were included. Among the 1,238,392 participants, 132,786 (10.72%) were e-cigarette users. The age range with the highest percentage of e-cigarette users was 18-24 years old, with 40,989 (30.86%) males, 34,875 (26.26%) females, and 33.6% being current cigarette smokers. The highest prevalence of users was 52.88% in Croatia and 49.62% in New Zealand. Other possible correlations were observed with e-cigarette use, such as a high level of education.
Conclusion: Overall, e-cigarette users tended to be male young adults with a higher level of education. The highest prevalence of use was found in Croatia. This systematic review provides valuable information to improve the development of appropriate intervention strategies targeting e-cigarette users for more accurate anti-smoking actions.
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