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More Smokers Switching to Vaping, U.S. Sales Rise

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Part of the definition of the term reduction — the action or fact of making a specified thing smaller or less in amount, degree or size — focuses on the word action. The vaping industry is one of action, and harm reduction is a very real and necessary action for all of us. We’re so happy to see the latest numbers on smokers switching to vaping, and we dedicate this blog to the millions who are extending their lives and getting healthier.

The New York Times’ numbers head back to 2004 to today, citing a U.S.-based survey that found 10.8 million adults are vaping. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in early October and conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016. It reports that 54.6 percent of e-cigarette users were still dual users, but almost one-third of those surveyed had quit smoking due to vaping. Other numbers of note:

  • The highest demographic of vapers were 18-24, with more than half younger than 35
  • 6 percent of vapers reportedly were men, and 3.7 percent were women
  • 7 percent of lesbian and gay people were current e-cigarette users, as were 9 percent of bisexual adults and 8.7 percent of transgender individuals
  • People with cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma and depression were more likely than others to be using e-cigarettes, and the rate was 10.2 percent among people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • E-cigarettes were most commonly used in Oklahoma and in the Southeast, and least often used in North Dakota and California
  • The researchers did not collect data on the type of e-cigarette device used, the flavors added or the size of the nicotine dose

The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health also talked e-cigarette sales in a recent report published in Preventing Chronic Disease. Findings from retail scanner data of the 48 contiguous states and Washington D.C. show that while sales of vaping products are climbing, prices are dropping. The CDC told NBC News that “by state, average monthly sales significantly increased for at least one of four e-cigarette products in all 48 [contiguous] states and Washington D.C.” Subsequently, average monthly sales rose 132 percent from 2012 to 2017, possibly due in fact that prices decreased “in 39 states for rechargeables, in 31 states for disposables, in 20 states for pre-filled cartridges, and in eight states for e-liquids.” Other numbers to note:

  • Sales of rechargeable products rose 154 percent while their prices fell 48 percent
  • Sales of disposables rose 27 percent as prices fell 14 percent
  • Sales of pre-filled cartridges rose 256 percent while prices fell 12 percent
  • Sales of e-liquids rose 64 percent with no change in price

NBC News reminds us that in January, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine issued a report saying that “e-cigarettes may be a less dangerous way to use tobacco, and may help established smokers reduce their immediate risk of death and disease.”