Today, June 10, 2015, The Business Insider website is reporting that Americans are tossing out the traditional tobacco cigarettes and turning to vaping devices in higher and higher numbers. According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, there is a 10% increase in vaping in the past year alone. This is nearly four times higher than the US government predictions from 2013.
Of the nearly 6,000 people polled, some 15% of adults under 40 years of age are now vaping. A large portion of this age group are also continuing to smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes at the same time, but these rapidly increasing numbers are drawing a great deal of attention from both lawmakers and Big Tobacco alike. In 2013, about 21% of the US adult population used tobacco. Two years later, this number is already down to about 19%. While over 70% of the American vaping community only just began using electronic cigarettes and vape pens within the past 12-months alone.
The Role of Big Tobacco
This rapid rise in popularity of vaping devices has Big Tobacco companies like Reynolds American and Lorillard in a panic. The new Reynold’s Vuse Brand of e-cigs is now being sold in over 100,000 retail outlets, already making up a whopping 36% of all e-cig sales nationwide. Vuse surpassed the once popular Blu electronic cigarette (manufactured by Lorillard) within only a few short months of its release. Another significant trend is seen in the massive surge of vape shops opening across the country. In 2013, vaping lounges were all but non-existent. Today, we have over 15,000 and rising.
Over 50% of those polled cite four common reasons for making the switch from tobacco to vaping.
- Vaping is far more healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
- Vapers don't have to worry about toxic second-hand smoke.
- Vaping devices can be used inside homes, offices, and cars without resulting in offensive odors.
- Vaping is cheaper than the ever-increasing costs of tobacco cigarettes.
Of those polled, over 80% of vapers are using the devices as a way to quit smoking completely. “Combining vaping with smoking traditional cigarettes makes quitting smoking a lot less painful and infinitely easier,” says one member of the poll. "You don't get the great big burst of nicotine you get with a (tobacco) cigarette, but at this point, (a vape pen) satisfies my cravings," says another. As vaping becomes more socially acceptable, the US government remains undecided about possible federal regulations. Perhaps lawmakers are waiting to see just how far these new poll numbers will rise.