When Richmond vape shop Avail Vapor saw that the FDA was still questioning how to regulate ecigs, they decided to get involved. They set up a survey to ask local vapers about their motivations for using ecigs and how vaping impacted their tobacco habits. After collecting answers from 8,500 electronic cigarette users, they uncovered some surprising discoveries.
One of the big concerns among FDA regulators is whether ecigs will be a gateway to tobacco use. So Avail asked the vapers about their history with tobacco products both before and after they encountered electronic cigarettes. It turns out that 94 percent of the ecig users were using tobacco before they began vaping. Tobacco use ranged from a year to 30 years, but there was one common denominator. The vast majority of respondents (80 percent) said they started using ecigs to help them stop smoking. Most of them were successful with 85 percent giving up tobacco completely after they began vaping. It didn’t take long either – 69 percent said they were completely tobacco-free within a month of using ecigs.
Avail’s co-founder James Xu said the survey revealed that vaping is “not a gateway to traditional smoking”. In fact, he believes the data clearly shows that ecigs actually act as a gateway to smoking cessation. He said participants rarely reported dual use (both smoking and vaping) and he rarely sees that in the vape shop as well. Most people are choosing to vape so they can kick the cigarette habit once and for all.
After getting such positive results from the survey, Xu said that Avail will send the responses to the FDA for consideration. Maggie M. Gowen, the director of communications for Avail, said she hoped the FDA would give consideration to the voices of vapers in Richmond and across the country. “We decided we would like our customers to voice their opinions,” she explained.
Now it’s your turn to express your opinion! What caused you to try ecigarettes for the first time? Did you quit smoking after you began vaping?