The past three years have been...hectic. Chaotic. Wild.
This study took a lot of revisions. I started this survey in 2016. Originally, this study was for an academic paper for a College Writing course at a community college. I got an "A" on the paper, and kind of forgot about it.
Then in February of 2019, I decided I wanted to do another survey. It gained traction of a whole five people. I decided to not promote it, and that was fine.
September 2019 hits. President Trump decided to announce a flavor ban. I knew we needed some action. That's when I recreated the survey. It's information that needs to be out there.
I want to give you a bit of a timeline of my Twitter account, first and foremost.
September 16th: @YesIVape was created
September 20th: Made a Tweet about how my co-worker was harassed leaving the shop. She was told that she is "no better than a murderer. Hope it kills you next."
September 21st: I went to finewineandgoodspirits.com and counted all of the flavored alcohols listed in Pennsylvania, excluding beer and wine. 1,298 flavored alcohols in state run stores across Pennsylvania.
September 29th: The survey went live on Twitter.
September 30th: The survey hits 213 responses.
September 30th: 2,000 responses.
As I type this, we are currently at 2,899 responses.
Holy. Snap. This community truly has banded together. Let's dive into some data.
Keep in mind, we are at 2,899 responses.
I am breaking it down by various questions, so I apologize if this is long. If you are curious about seeing more data, please let me know.
First question: How old are you?
14.3% (414 responses) 38-41 years old.
13.7% (398 responses) 34-37 years old.
12.3% (356 responses) 42-45 years old.
11.2% (324 responses) 30-33 years old.
8.6% (248 responses) 46-49 years old.
8.0% (232 responses) 26-29 years old.
The oldest recorded age: 70-73 years old, 16 responses, 0.6%
The youngest recorded age: 18-21 years old, 101 responses, 3.5%
As you can see, the ages 26-49 are more popular in the vaping community than 18-21 year old individuals. The large controversy that youth and young adults are vaping now more than ever, simply isn't true.
Let's look at gender:
Male: 63.9% 1,853 responses.
Female: 35.7%, 1,036 responses.
Prefer not to say: 0.4%, 11 responses.
(Check it out, we've hit 2,900 responses here!!!)
This is more just to give a generalized data, not exactly important to the fight.
Did you use tobacco products prior to vaping?
98.1% said that they have (2,845 responses).
1.9% said that they did not (55 responses).
Another major misconception, that people are just vaping, and have no prior connection to using traditional tobacco products. Traditional tobacco products include: cigarettes, cigars, chew/snuff, hookah, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own, etc. Anything that involves a leaf, as the definition of tobacco is: the leaves of cultivated tobacco prepared for use in smoking or chewing or as snuff according to merriam-webster.com.
If you used tobacco products, how long were you a user for?
8.2% (238 responses) 18-20 years.
8.2% (237 responses) 14-16 years.
7.3% (211 responses) 10-12 years.
7.0 % (204 responses) 20-22 years.
6.5% (189 responses) 8-10 years.
5.1% (149 responses) 16-18 years.
The longest recorded response: more than 50 years, 8 responses, 0.3%
The shortest recorded response: 0-6 months, 21 responses, 0.7%.
Again, you can see here that a lot of the people who are vaping used tobacco products for quite some time. There is a very small window of people who used tobacco products for 0-6 months.
This survey then goes into cigarettes. If you smoked cigarettes, how heavy of a smoker were you?
0.8% (24 responses) smoked casually, meaning less than 5 cigarettes a month.
1.8% (51 responses) smoked socially, around friends/family.
6.1% (172 responses) smoked light, meaning less than 10 cigarettes a day.
25.5% (721 responses) smoked moderately, meaning 11-19 cigarettes a day.
65.8% (1,862 responses) smoked heavy, meaning 20 or more cigarettes a day.
Not only were people smokers, but a vast majority were heavy smokers. This is an alarming number of people who smoke(d), and isn't addressed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Center of Disease Control (CDC).
Now, the survey does go into cigars, chew/snuff, hookah, and pipe tobacco, but those numbers aren't nearly as high as cigarettes. Again, if you'd like to see this data, please let me know. I'd be more than happy to share it.
Let's look at the types of cigarettes people were smoking. Now, there are 2,787 responses here, and thus, I'm not going to list every cigarette that was listed. I'm looking at the first page that I can see.
Most of them state "Marlboro Lights" followed by "Newports."
There are a TON of responses here, literally 2,000+ responses. But, you have the general idea. Lots of Marlboro and Newports, lots of Camels and American Spirits here too.
After that, we look at traditional smoking cessation products.
79.8% (2,315 responses) said that they have tried traditional smoking cessation products.
18.4% (534 responses) said that they did not try traditional smoking cessation products.
1.8% (52 responses) said that this doesn't apply, as they did not use tobacco products prior.
1,949 responses said they used Nicotine Gum.
1,766 responses said they used Nicotine Patches.
996 responses said they used Chantix or another prescription medication.
927 responses said they used lozenges.
450 responses said they used hypnosis.
303 responses said they used holistic methods.
279 responses said they used inhalers.
222 responses said they used acupuncture.
106 responses said they used nasal spray.
As you can see, there are a lot of types of smoking cessation products. There were others listed, such as cold turkey, Wellbutrin, chewing toothpicks or regular gum, but these are the top smoking cessation products selected. Let's see how well these smoking cessation aides worked.
76.1% (2208 responses) said that traditional smoking cessation products DID NOT work.
1.8% (51 responses) said that traditional smoking cessation products did work.
18.5% (538 responses) said that they went directly to vaping.
2.1% (61 responses) said that they quit cold turkey.
1.5% (43 responses) said they they never used tobacco products prior to vaping.
As you can see here, traditional smoking cessation products did not work for the majority of people. With quitting tobacco products, typically withdraw occurs. Let's look at those numbers. The question is: If you used traditional smoking cessation products, did you have withdraw symptoms when quitting?
67% (1,944 responses) yes.
5.3% (153 responses) yes, used a vape.
1.6% (46 responses) yes, cold turkey.
19.3% (560 responses) no, used a vape.
4.5% (130 responses) no.
0.6% (17 responses) no, cold turkey.
1.8% (51 responses) doesn't apply, didn't use tobacco products prior to vaping.
What you see here is 67% had withdraw symptoms while 4.5% did not when using smoking cessation products. 5.3% had withdraw symptoms while using a vape, yet 19.3% of responses did not experience withdraw symptoms using a vape. 1.6% of responses had withdraw symptoms going cold turkey, while 0.6% did not experience withdraw symptoms by quitting cold turkey.
Cold turkey, for those who may not know, is when someone quit using tobacco products with no other help. These people never used smoking cessation products to quit using tobacco products.
Now, let's look at some vaping statistics.
Did vaping help you quit using tobacco products?
96.7% (2,807 responses) YES!!!!!
1.6% (47 responses) no.
1.7% (48 responses) does not apply, did not use tobacco products prior to vaping.
In comparison, only 1.8% of people had success using traditional smoking cessation products. 96.7% of people had success using vaping to quit using tobacco products.
Let's do a little comparing here with nicotine levels. The BOLD writing is what nicotine level people started with, and the italics are the nicotine level people are currently at.
50 mg: 2.1% (60 responses) vs. 1.1% (31 responses)
35 mg: 2.8% (82 responses) vs. 0.6% (16 responses)
24 mg: 17.3% (502 responses) vs. 0.7% (20 responses)
18 mg: 20.1% (582 responses) vs. 1.2% (36 responses)
12 mg: 19.5% (566 responses) vs. 3.0% (88 responses)
6 mg: 19.6% (568 responses) vs 15.3% (444 responses)
3 mg: 10.1% (293 responses) vs 57.7% (1,675 responses)
0 mg: 1.3 % (38 responses) vs. 5.2% (151 responses)
Now, some nicotine levels were omitted here. As you can see, there is a huge drop in nicotine levels though, with the majority of people currently using 3 milligrams of nicotine. What a huge success!!
The biggest thing happening right now are flavor bans. Let's talk about what helped you all quit using tobacco products when it comes to flavoring.
Fruit flavors: 45.7% (1,327 responses)
Dessert/Food flavors: 30.1% (873 responses)
Candy flavors: 8.1% (235 responses)
Butters/Cream flavors: 4.5% (130 responses)
Mint/Menthol flavors: 4.1% (120 responses)
Tobacco flavors: 3.3% (97 responses)
Cafe/spice flavors: 1.4% (40 responses)
Did not use tobacco products prior: 1.3% (39 responses)
Drink/cocktail flavors: 1.2% (35 responses)
No flavoring: 0.2% (6 responses)
Flavoring is the reason that 2,902 individuals were able to quit using tobacco products effectively. Typically, when a person starts vaping, they stick with one type of flavor group. Sometimes people try a bunch of different flavors, but on average, most people stick with one flavor group. To say that flavoring is endangering lives and that adults dislike flavor is absolutely untrue, the data says it all.
Now, as we continue to see all of this misinformation from the FDA and the CDC, we notice that most of these cases haven't developed over years, but over several weeks/months. This survey asks its participants how long they have been vaping for. Let's check it out:
0.8% (22 responses) no longer vape.
3.2% (93 responses) 0-6 months.
5.9% (171 responses) 6 months-1 year.
10.8% (314 responses) 1-2 years.
20.4% (591 responses) 2-4 years.
27.3% (792 responses) 4-6 years.
19.8% (574 responses) 6-8 years.
8.5% (246 responses) 8-10 years.
3.1% (89 responses) 10-12 years.
0.3% (10 responses) 12+ years.
47.1% of people have been vaping 4-8 years. How is it that suddenly we are having issues with vaping? The clear answer: illicit THC cartridges. Illicit drug cartridges. Nicotine isn't the issue here. Flavored nicotine e-liquid isn't the issue here at all.
Now, one thing that we should consider is withdraw symptoms using a vape. We see that there are 67% that experienced withdraw symptoms using traditional smoking cessation products, but with vaping, that number drops to 9.7% (282 responses). This shows that 88.8% (2,577 responses) did not experience withdraw symptoms using a vape. What a huge jump!!
What does this all mean?
Vaping flavored nicotine e-liquid isn't the issue at hand. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Center of Disease Control (CDC), the American Lung Association (ALA), the United States Surgeon General, among other organizations and individuals have refused to create surveys or discussion on how vaping has helped people quit smoking cigarettes. The data is available. The data is here. The data is real time. It's now.
Until our government understands and recognizes the fact that flavored, nicotine e-liquid isn't the primary cause of these lung injuries, there will be more people hurt. People who currently smoke will not consider vaping as a 95% less harmful option to quit smoking cigarettes ( https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/nicotine-without-smoke-tobacco-harm-reduction ). People who currently smoke will not consider that there is no change in air quality from normal air to air with vapor in it (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4454944/ ).
Our government is lying to us. The Surgeon General, the person who is supposed to help the general public, has invested stocks into tobacco industries. The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) is the reason that cigarettes and anything controlled by "Big Tobacco" cannot be banned. This needs to stop.
Here is the data you requested for, Surgeon General.