The survey, organised for World No Tobacco Day on May 31 this year, involved more than 5,000 people around the globe. It also revealed what many people already vaping know: that it’s a far cheaper alternative to smoking cigarettes. Combined with the health costs, governments have been steadily increasing taxation on tobacco products to try and dissuade people from smoking, to the point that cigarettes have become high-priced items that can be difficult to afford.
An initiative of the World Health Organization, World No Tobacco Day came as governments are examining ways of making their countries smoke-free due to the deadly effects of inhaling toxic tobacco smoke. For this year’s event, the WHO called smoking “a threat to development” and said that, overall, tobacco kills more than seven million people around the world each year.
New Zealand is the latest country to legalize vaping, and the government has declared its intention to try and go completely smoke-free by 2025. It said it is “determined to reduce the horrendous burden of death and disease caused by smoking” and that tobacco “is the only legal consumer product that, when used as the manufacturer intends, kills over half its users.”
The vaping survey was conducted online between April and May on behalf of e-cig maker VON ERL, and the results were analysed by researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. It sought to discover attitudes in societies about cigarette smoking and vaping. In particular, it wanted to see if they were changing as more people become aware of the real health risks associated with tobacco. An overwhelming majority (75.2%) of respondents said they vaped because it was “healthier than smoking”, while 65.8% said they were using e-cigarettes as a way to give up smoking.
The variety of flavors — easily available as an e-juice from an online vape shop — was the reason 68.4% of people surveyed had taken up vaping. More than half, meanwhile, at 50.2%, said they preferred vaping to smoking for the financial benefits, as e-juice refills last much longer than several packs of cigarettes and cost much less.
The survey also discovered that vapers are increasingly attempting to wean themselves off nicotine and that e-juice containing lower levels of it have become trendy in recent years. A total of 67.2% of those surveyed said they used e-liquids with 1-5mg of nicotine per mililiter. This compares to other levels of nicotine that range from 10ml, all the way up to 120ml.
Even attitudes among people who do not vape seem to be changing, with 43.2% saying vaping was not as dangerous to health as smoking, compared to 97.2% of people using e-cigarettes who held the same view. Delving deeper into those who vape, the survey found that most vapers are young and people who like quality, especially vaping products that are well designed.
The average vaper is male, around 35 years of age, and earns up to €2,000 per month — and is willing to pay more than €70 for an e-cigarette. Additionally, the typical vaper enjoys the fruity tobacco e-juice flavors that are used with e-cigarettes. Aromas like apple and strawberry are popular in such places as Germany, while Italians who vape prefer tobacco flavor, the survey found.
Where are they all getting their e-cigarettes and e-juices? As with much of everything these days, it’s on the internet, at a vape shop. It seems as though the day of the cigarette is fast coming to a close while the far healthier, cheaper and more enjoyable electronic version is truly starting to shine.