More than four in 10 Kentucky adults under age 30 have tried electronic cigarettes, and the older and better off economically Kentuckians are, the less likely they are to have tried them. Overall, one-fourth of Kentucky adults and 60 percent of current smokers have tried the devices.
Those are major findings of the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll, which also found that 61 percent Kentucky adults want the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarettes and 53 percent want them to be taxed in the same way as traditional cigarettes.
The poll, taken Oct. 8-Nov. 6, has an error margin of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. It was conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,597 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones.
The poll was conducted for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Cincinnati-based Interact for Health nonprofit.
“Last year, Kentucky became one of dozens of states to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors,” Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the foundation, noted in a news release.
The poll didn’t ask respondents if they were currently using e-cigarettes, but the data offer some interesting details: Men (29%) were more likely than women (20%) to have used an e-cigarette, and college graduates (14%) and were less likely than others (27%) to have done so. So were residents of the Lexington area, at 16%. Among those who said they previously smoked cigarettes, 19 percent said they had tried the electronic version.
As might be expected, current smokers those who had used an e-cigarette were much less likely to say the devices should be taxed like tobacco cigarettes.