We Now Know Another Way In Which Vaping Beats Out Tobacco We Now Know Another Way In Which Vaping Beats Out Tobacco

Studies show that e-cigarettes have taken over as the most popular nicotine device among US troops.

It seems like the vaping debate has been ongoing for just as long as modern vaping has been a thing. However, over the last couple of years, it feels like this are starting to reach a boiling point with both sides get increasingly stubborn and dug in. Anti-vapers won’t let go of fears that any acceptance of vaping, regardless of actual value, is going to lead to severe consequences for the next generation. At the same time, vaping supporters point to the growing pile of independent evidence which supports the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes. The end of this debate is still a long way off, but we did recently get new evidence which should have vapers excited. Studies indicate vaping recently overtook smoking as the more popular habit among troops.

While concern over vaping made sense when it first hit the scene, these days we have plenty of solid reason to support their value. Not only is it a clearly better choice than continued smoking, but if we want to secure our rights into the future, now is the time to make our stand. New studies like these are integral to changing the minds of the general public, and it’s great to see members of the military are seemingly very aware of the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes.

The Recent Report

Initially, this report was commissioned to provide an overview of the health-related concerns the military should be aware of. This report called the Defense Department Health-Related Behaviors Survey of Active Duty Service Members was able to make a few interesting conclusions about the state of vaping concerning the military. Only around 7.4% of service members are currently full-time smokers, which is much lower than the 13% of the general public. Approximately 14% of servicemembers said they smoke on occasion, which represents a drop of over 10% since 2011. Smoking is clearly on the outs in the military, but this report provides some of the first substantial evidence that vaping is filling this gap.

According to the data, a little over 11% of service members say they vape regularly, while only 12.4% said they had vaped at least once in the previous month. When looking at younger members of the military, the rate got as high as 20%. However, within each branch of the military these findings stayed more or less consistent. It is worth noting the Marines had the highest rate of vapers at 16.1% and the Coast Guardsmen had the lowest rate at 9.3%. But what’s most impressive about vaping in the military is just how quickly it’s been able to become so popular. The report shows a five-fold increase in vapers between 2011 and 2015.

Support For Vaping

Some people have shown concern over these findings, but taking a quick look at the evidence and it’s clear there isn’t much to worry about. We’ve known since at least 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking thanks to a report by Public Health England. While that report was massive news at the time, these days we usually get something along those lines every couple months. In fact, just a few months back we got a report which concluded the toxicants in cigarette smoke are 93% higher than in e-liquid vapor. The true extent of the harm reduction value isn’t evident, though, until you read the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of vapers is about 57,000 times lower than demographically similar smokers.

Looking past the general harm reduction value and there’s still a lot of reason to support vaping. For starters, it seems that it’s the best smoking cessation tool we currently have at our disposal. A report conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation methods and tools and determined it was vaping which is more likely to work than anything else. However, for many, the most important reason we have to support vaping is proof that the media are overblowing the teenage vaping “epidemic.” A report of over 60,000 students concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer full time, which means even fewer could be ending up a smoker because of vaping.


With all the negative news surrounding vaping these days, it’s great to see that some of the most well-loved and respected members of society are getting behind vaping in a big way. We have more evidence all the time, which clearly shows vaping is an invaluable smoking cessation and harm reduction tool. If we genuinely want to end the smoking epidemic once and for all, we must utilize all the best tools we have at our disposal, which includes vaping. The more people who understand what vaping has to offer, the easier it will be to secure and protect our vaping rights.

Are you surprised to hear how popular vaping is in the military? What’s the best way to teach others about the value of vaping? What do you think is the most crucial part of vaping? 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.


Katie Bercham - CocktailNerd Editor

Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 5 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community.