Many more U.S. residents now use electronic cigarettes and other vaporizers compared with a year ago, according to a new poll from Reuters/Ipsos. Most of those consumers also smoke normal cigarettes. The poll supports the conclusion that smokers prefer to use both e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco to take in nicotine instead of abandoning normal cigarettes entirely. Researchers have started studying the e-cigarette phenomenon in detail, and health authorities are still debating how to regulate the products. They have already been banned in some areas.
For now, fans of so-called vaping, the term for smoking using an e-cigarette, argue that vaporizers and e-cigarettes are safer than normal tobacco products. Smoking traditional cigarettes and cigars has been shown to cause lung cancer as well as many other diseases. Around 10 percent of adults in the U.S. ‘vape’ at the moment, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll of 5,679 U.S. persons conducted online from May 19 until June 4. The number is about four times higher than an estimate of 2.6 percent produced by the U.S. government in 2013.Around 15 percent of participants in the poll below the age of 40 currently vape.
The government data from 2013 indicated that 18.8 percent of people from 18 to 24 and 20.1 percent from 25 to 44 used normal cigarettes. An e-cigarette is a metal tube which heats up liquid containing nicotine to deliver the nicotine as a vapor when it is inhaled. Around 70 percent of the current users began in just the last year, and about 75 percent of those users also use normal cigarettes. The surge in e-cigarette popularity comes at a time when conventional cigarette popularity has dropped to around 19 percent of adults. As a result tobacco companies like Reynolds American, Altria Group, Lorillard, and more have rushed into e-cigarettes. The number of dedicated U.S.-based vape shops has jumped to well over 15,000 from almost zero just a few years ago, going by recent estimates from inside the industry.
The profusion of options has prompted the rise of review sites helping users find the best e cig for them. According to Wells Fargo Securities, the U.S. market for e cigarettes is expected to grow to from $2.5 billion in 2014 to $3.5 billion by the end of 2015. About half that will be personal vaporizers and vapor tanks, which are special designs that have stronger batteries and can use liquid in many thousands of different flavors. Around half of the users who responded to the survey said the main motivator for using the devices was friends or family. Forty percent said they were driven by the fact they could now smoke indoors and would pay a lower price in the long run. Eighty percent of e-cigarette users said the devices were a good way to help quit smoking, while 40 percent of adults overall agreed with the same statement. Many users felt the devices were also less harmful than a cigarette, noting they satisfied the urge to hold one but could be used in many more places than a regular cigarette and did not make their clothes reek of smoke.