Vaping Among Millennials
Smoking and Vaping Behavior
- Consistent with population-level decreases in overall smoking in the last several decades, a majority of millennials do not currently smoke or However, this study demonstrates that vaping is more prevalent among millennials compared to smoking: 14% of respondents in the overall sample report using e-cigarettes or vaporizers on all or some days, whereas 9% report smoking cigarettes on all or some days.
- Current smokers are using vaping as a supplement to smoking and/or as a means to cut down on smoking cigarettes
- Majority of current smokers also reported vaping (63%); about half reported they smoked more than they vaped, and about a third reported vaping more than they smoked
- Most current smokers who vape also stated that they vape to cut down on smoking cigarettes
- Even among those who do not currently vape or smoke cigarettes, prior experience with vaping was more common than smoking
- 18% of respondents reported that they had ever vaped versus only 5% who had smoked 100 cigarettes in their entire life
- 15% of the total sample reported that they had tried vaping, but never smoked cigarettes
- Some former smokers report using vaping to quit cigarettes (36%): this percentage is significantly higher among former smokers who currently vape (69%).
Attitudes and Beliefs
- Although the majority of respondents thought that vaping was safer than smoking cigarettes, very few thought that vaping was safe to one’s health or those around
- Millennials in this sample also thought that vaping was more socially acceptable among their peers compared to smoking However, participants did not think that vaping was more socially acceptable than smoking among their family, nor did they think that vaping was socially acceptable in indoor spaces.
Data were collected in January 2015 using an online survey administered to a sample of millennials, defined as individuals born between 1980 and 1996. The sample was drawn from the EurekaFacts Millennial Panel. The EurekaFacts Millennial panel was initially constructed through a variety of outreach efforts to assure a cross-section of millennials in terms of age, race/ethnicity and geography of residence. The data were weighted to account for demographic characteristics of the sample using the most current data from the Current Population Survey.
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Smoking and Vaping Behavior
Among the 17% of respondents who either smoke or vape (i.e., “current users,”) vaping is more prevalent than smoking
- 14% of respondents in this sample report vaping every day or some days, versus 9% who report smoking every day or some days
- 5% of the total sample reported both vaping and smoking every day or some days
- Most current smokers reported vaping regularly (63% of all smokers)
- Among vapers who do not currently smoke, most never smoked cigarettes
The majority of millennial smokers who also vape report smoking cigarettes more often than vaping
- 54% reported smoking more often than vaping
- 33% reported vaping more often than smoking
- 10% reported smoking equally often as smoking
The majority of smokers who also vape reported using vaping as a means to cut down on smoking cigarettes, and when smoking is prohibited or less socially acceptable
- 68% of smokers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I vape to cut down on smoking cigarettes”
- 65% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I vape in places I am not allowed to smoke”
- 65% also agreed with the statement, “I they vape in places I do not want to smell like cigarette smoke”
- 59% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I vape when I’m around non-smokers”
A majority of millennials are not current smokers or vapers (83% of the total sample); in fact, 62% of the total sample have never smoked or vaped. However, among respondents who had prior experience with either smoking or vaping, more respondents tried vaping compared to those who had smoked
- Overall, 18% of respondents reported that they had ever vaped (i.e., “tried vaping”); only 5% reported smoking 100 cigarettes in their entire life (i.e. “former smokers”)
- 15% of the total sample reported that they had tried vaping, but never smoked
- Only 2% of those who previously smoked cigarettes had never tried vaping
Findings suggest that some millennials are trading one addiction for another: a large proportion of current vapers who no longer smoke cigarettes reported using vaping as a strategy to quit smoking cigarettes
- Overall, 36% of millennials who have ever vaped and are former smokers reported that they used vaping as a strategy to quit smoking cigarettes
- Among current vapers who quit smoking, 69% stated that they used vaping to quit smoking cigarettes
- Among former smokers who tried vaping but do not currently vape, only 23% stated that they used vaping to quit smoking
Attitudes Toward Vaping: Safety of Vaping
Millennials consider vaping safer only in comparison to cigarettes.
45% of respondents thought that vaping was safer than cigarettes and 28% disagreed with that statement.
When asked about vaping directly, millennials were less convinced of its safety.
Attitudes Toward Vaping: Social Acceptability
Millennials thought that vaping is more socially acceptable than smoking among their peers but not their families, nor is vaping acceptable in indoor spaces.
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