A picture of the average vaper
A picture of the average vaper
According to the CDC, almost 4% of adult Americans are regularly using e-cigarettes. This might sound like a relatively small figure until you take into account that this group is formed by more than 9 million individuals, and that number is just made up of those who are vaping on a daily basis. The data from the U.S. Census Board revealed as many as 12.6% of adults had tried an e-cigarette at least once.
When you think of a typical vaper, you wouldn’t be blamed for picturing a hipster-type with a love of tech who spends their time drinking gourmet coffee in independent cafes. Indeed, since vaping has increased in popularity five-fold over the past five years, it has formed a subculture of its own amongst the hip and happening. From the catwalks of New York to the Hollywood Hills, e-cigarettes have been making their presence known amongst the celebrated and admired, but the vaping trend goes far further than just those looking to embrace a less harmful lifestyle and an aesthetically progressive fashion statement. E-cigarettes are popular across the board of age groups and genders, but like with any product, there have been some recurring trends through vaping history that help build a picture of what the average e-cigarette user might look like.
In its early days, the e-cigarette market was mostly dominated by men, and even in 2014, men were more likely than women to have tried vaping. If you’ve ever been to a vaping exhibition, you will have seen the numerous scantily-clad promo girls wandering about, suggesting that the male audience is still a key draw for many brands. However, as women have become more aware of the implications tobacco could be having on their image, many are switching over to e-cigarettes. Strangely, in the UK, the patterns of vapers seem to be falling into a female majority. Commercial Director of brand VIP Louise Stamper said “We’re now seeing a growing trend for women turning to e-cigs. There’s no definitive answer to why this might be, but insight shows that motives behind quitting smoking include protecting appearances and saving money.”
In recent months, there has been debate on whether certain e-liquid flavourings could encourage minors to try vaping and thus traditional cigarettes, and whilst the biggest group of e-cigarette users falls in the 18-24 category, there is no firm evidence to suggest that children are being influenced to smoke as a result of electronic alternatives. Looking at the trend in the simplest terms, an e-cigarette or mod device can appear a little bit intimidating if you’ve been smoking the same cigarettes from thirty years, but if you’ve grown up in age of smartphones and laptops the transition is slightly less dramatic. Having said that, there are still a good portion of those over the age of 24 who are using e-cigarettes, and the number has been increasing.
For both traditional tobacco and e-cigarette use, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Natives are leading the pack, but just as with other ethnic groups, the percentage of tobacco smokers is still too high. For non-Hispanic AIANs, over a quarter of the population are still smoking, with 20% identifying as frequent e-cigarette users. After this group, non-Hispanic white make up the largest group of regular vapers. As they non-Hispanic AIAN group is collectively far smaller than the non-Hispanic white group overall, it’s clear that Caucasians are making up the vast proportion of America’s vaping community at the moment.
Smokers and non-smokers
CDC data showed that e-cigarettes use was most common amongst recent ex-smokers, which suggests that most of vapers could be using e-cigarettes as a method of cessation, as opposed to previous non-smokers who have been tempted to try vaping for other reasons such as image or curiosity. Less than 4% of adults who had never smoked previously said that they have tried an e-cigarette, which shows that those who have previously been exposed to traditional tobacco are by far the most likely users of e-cigarettes.
Do you fit the trend for the most likely e-cigarette user? Tell us in the comments or on social media!