A majority of adults who use electronic cigarettes also smoke traditional cigarettes, according to a federal survey released Thursday.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that 58.8 percent of adult e-cigarette users in 2015 were also current cigarette smokers and another 29.8 percent were former cigarette smokers.
Among e-cigarette users 45 years or older, 98.7 percent were either current or former cigarette smokers while 1.3 percent had never been a cigarette smoker before. Among adults ages 18 to 24, 40 percent had never been smokers before.
The data is raising new concerns among health advocacy groups.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said the data shows a large majority of adult e-cigarette users in the U.S. are using e-cigarettes in addition to regular cigarettes, rather than in place of them, and that e-cigarettes may be introducing young non-smokers to tobacco use and nicotine addiction.
“If there is a public health benefit to the emergence of e-cigarettes, it will come only if they are effective at helping smokers stop using cigarettes completely, responsibly marketed to adult smokers and properly regulated to achieve these goals,” Matthew Myers, the group’s president, said in a statement.
“They will not benefit public health if smokers use them in addition to cigarettes instead of quitting or if they re-glamorize tobacco use among young people and attract non-smokers," he added.