Smoking vs Vaping – how many are making the switch?
With no smoke, fewer chemicals, a sweeter smell, fewer health risks for bystanders, all at a much cheaper price, it’s no surprise to see thousands of smokers (in Ireland and around the world) ditch their cigarettes in favour of vaping.
How many people are vaping?
But what are the actual numbers? What do the Irish vaping community think and what motivates them to vape instead of smoke?
We’ve mentioned The Irish Cancer Society’s comprehensive survey before, but this time we’re focusing especially on the vapers themselves, and their attitudes.
It’s heartening to see that the number of Irish vapers is now at approximately 134,000, while traditional smoking continues to decline in the country.
The No.1 Reason for Vaping
Both here and abroad, survey after survey shows that the number one reason for vaping is to help people quit traditional smoking. To quote the survey: “4 in 5 (80%) first tried e-cigarettes to give up or cut down on smoking. Personal health (59%) and financial reasons (29%) are the key drivers for giving up or reducing….Amongst those that are current users of e-cigarettes, 35% are former smokers. 7 in 10 who intend to use in the next 6 months are current smokers.”
The survey also went on to say that 1 in 4 current users claim they are using e-cigarettes currently to cut down on cigarettes while 61% claim they are using them to give up smoking.
We’re also happy to see that our message – that vaping is strictly for adults – is in line with most of the Irish vaping community. “Over 2 in 3 agree the sale of e-cigarettes to minors should be banned”
E-Cigarette attitudes abroad
After looking at the opinions of the Irish vapers, it’s important to compare the user sentiment towards e-ciggarettes in a different market. What do friends and neighbours in the UK think? Well a survey quoted by the NHS says that 75% of the sample audience said it had been several weeks or months since their last cigarette; 91% said that use of the e-cigarette had ‘substantially decreased’ their craving for tobacco cigarettes; and 70% didn’t have as much of an urge to smoke. Unsurprisingly, most surveyed said that reason for taking up vaping was to help them quit cigarettes.
Outside of Europe, a poll in Canada poured water on the theory that vaping was a gateway to smoking. As Forbes reported: “The Forum Poll, Canada’s leading public opinion poll, found that one-tenth of over 2,100 adult vapers surveyed had never smoked. Of this subset, fully 96 percent used a nicotine-free solution. According to Poll analysts, this ‘would discount the theory that vaping is a gateway to smoking’.”
So there you have it, in Ireland and abroad the typical vaper is a former smoker who has successfully used e-cigarettes to quit. They are (in the vast majority) not strangers to cigarettes. Most encouragingly, the numbers at home and abroad show that many have used vaping to successfully kick the smoking habit.
Most Irish smokers intend to make the switch soon. Are you one of them? Let us know! We would love to hear from you.