Latest numbers on vaping show rapid growth among older groups as they look for satisfying ways to kick their tobacco habit
Vaping has become the go-to harm reduction and smoking cessation tool for millions of people around the world since they were first introduced over ten years ago. At first, the vast majority of vapers were younger adults, with older groups of smokers much less likely to make the switch. While vaping rates have more or less stabilized over the last several years in most demographics, one group finally getting on board is adults 45 and older. In fact, a new report found that the number of vapers between the ages of 45 and 54 nearly doubled in just the last two years.
Meanwhile, the debate rages on over if and how we should properly regulate vaping. Those in favor of vaping point to a growing pile of evidence proving their utility, while critics still claim acceptance of e-cigarettes will ultimately lead teens to pick up vapes, and, so the story goes, eventually end up life long smokers. However, with older groups starting to understand what vaping has to offer and making the switch, we may soon have a new wave of involved and influential vaping advocates.
The New Report
A newly released report from London-based market research firm, Mintel, indicates the vaping market remains robust despite a few years in which sales had slowed. They asked vapers from around the UK about their vaping habits as well as a few questions about their impact at large. The team of researchers estimated the current value of the e-cigarette market in the UK rose a full 12% in 2018 to a whopping 283 million pounds. But perhaps the most important finding of all was the rapid growth of vapers in the 45-54 age range, with more than 70% feeling vaping is “fashionable.” This stands in stark contrast to how the same group felt about vaping as recently as a few years back, giving many in the community hope it’s a sign of the momentum shifting.
At the same time, vaping industry growth among younger groups is actually slowing down. According to the report, 18-24-year-olds are still the most likely to vape, coming in at 28%. But this is only a few points higher than it was in 2016 when 24% of 18-24-year-olds vaped. All the results were not favorable for vaping however, as they concluded 62% of Brits want the industry more regulated. At the same time, nearly half of adults (42%) still believe vaping is a gateway to smoking.
The Value Of Vaporizers
While it’s quite understandable to be skeptical of vaping, given its relative newness and outward similarities to smoking, once you take a look at the peer-reviewed research the picture is much more clear. For starters, any concern over vaping being a “gateway” to smoking is overblown at best. A report of over 60,000 students, also from the UK, concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping regularly. Which logically means a lot less are ever trading in their fruit flavored vape for the harsh flavor and feel of burnt tobacco. It’s no wonder then why e-cigarettes have proven to be such a valuable smoking cessation tool. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville concluded that not only is vaping effective at helping people quit, but it’s actually the single best tool we have at our disposal.
Turning our focus to the harm reduction value of vaping and the story only gets better. It was Public Health England who first reported back in 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. But since that first report, similar numbers have been published many times, including as recently as a few months back. That study concluded the level of toxicants in cigarette smoke is about 93% higher than in e-liquid vapor. However, you don’t truly understand everything at risk until you hear about the study which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is 57,000 times lower than a smoker with a similar background and lifestyle.
While things have looked pretty grim for the vaping industry over the last several months, this could be a sign of positive things to come. One of the most significant problems the vaping sector has ever had is with public perception. If we can legitimately get more middle-aged and older adults to understand everything vaping has to offer, we stand a much better chance of securing and protecting our vaping rights into the future. If we don’t it’s only a matter of time before the government regulates the industry to death or worse, Big Tobacco uses their money and influence to take over the industry forcibly. Either way, it would be a travesty to waste all the potential vaping has as a smoking cessation and harm reduction tool.
Are you excited to see more middle-aged people turn to vaping? Do you think it’s a big problem for the industry if more people don’t understand the benefits? How can we best spread positive information to those around us? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.