Despite ongoing attempts from mainstream media to villainize electronic cigarettes, it seems the general public is mostly okay with vaping. In fact, a recent study confirmed that most people didn’t mind people using e-cigs nearby at all. When Harris Interactive conducted a random public survey, 63 percent of adults said public vaping wasn’t bothersome.
During the telephone survey, 515 men and 506 women were asked two specific questions about e-cigarette use. First, they researchers asked, “If someone was using an electronic cigarette, or an e-cigarette in close proximity to you, would it bother you?” It turns out that two-thirds of people don’t mind if someone puffs on an e-cig nearby, but women were more likely to be annoyed by it than men.
Next, researchers asked how people felt about vaping in specific locations. They asked, “Would you approve or disapprove of someone using an e-cigarette in the following locations, or do you have no opinion one way or the other?” Then they mentioned specific places like offices, airplanes, malls, bars, airplanes, restaurants, and sporting events.
It turns out that people’s approval of vaping really varies by location. For instance, 58 percent of people were okay with using e-cigs at sporting events, but they were much less tolerant on public transportation where only 35 percent approved. The vast majority did not like vaping in movie theaters or on airplanes. Most men were okay with vaping in restaurants or bars, whereas only 38 percent of women felt that was appropriate.
Harris Interactive conducted the survey at the request of Mistic Electronic Cigarettes. Based in North Carolina, Mistic is a growing brand and CEO John Wiesehan Jr. said they wanted to learn more about how the public felt about vaping. “We did this survey more for our own education, to be blunt about it,” he said. “Some municipalities allow e-cigarettes, some don’t. Some are looking at how they want to handle it.”
Once the results were in, Wiesenhan said he was most surprised by the level of acceptance at sporting events. He didn’t expect that to be as high as the survey discovered. However, he was not surprised to see that people did not approve of vaping on airplanes, considering the space is so small and confining. “I could see where people could be a little nervous in that situation,” he said.
Mistic plans to use the data collected during the survey to start a conversation about appropriate e-cigarette etiquette. Hopefully, this will help vapers learn more about how the general population feels about e-cigs so we can be sensitive in situations where people might be uneasy about e-cig use.
It’s also noteworthy that the survey found a big difference in responses depending on age and geographical location. Young adults under age 35 were much more accepting of e-cigarettes than older people. In fact, 70 percent of young adults didn’t mind vaping at all. However, only 46 percent of older adults were accepting. People living in the west were not as tolerant of e-cigs on planes as people living in the Midwest.
Economic class could also play a role in how people view electronic cigarettes. The survey found that people with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 were more likely to be tolerant of vaping than people with lower incomes.
Overall, this new data shows us that the negative stigma around electronic cigarettes is finally fading. People are learning the facts about vaping and debunking the myths and scare tactics that the media uses to frame e-cigs as an enemy.
Are you surprised that two-thirds of people don’t mind vaping in public?