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Why do adults vape?User of vape among adults data in Great Britain

Use of vape among adults in Great Britain survey by ASH


The vaping community is increasing. But Why do adults vape?

According to data, in 2023, approximately 4.7 million adults in the United Kingdom were reported to be using e-cigarettes, a record high and representing 9.1% of the population.

According to the Report on the use of vape among adults in Great Britain, 92% of the general population in the UK have heard of e-cigarettes or vapes, a sharp increase from just 49% in 2012.

For more details, check out the Report here.

The summary of the vapers’ key findings

  • 2.7 million (56%) are ex-smokers
  • 1.7 million (37%) are current smokers
  • 320,000 are never-smokers (1.1% of never-smokers are current vapers, and 6.7% of current vapers are never-smokers)

Why do adults vape?

Vaping is overwhelmingly most popular among current and former cigarette smokers.

According to the report data, most ex-smokers who vape are doing it to quit or reduce smoking.

Only % of ex-smokers people, about 14%, vape simply because they enjoy the vaping experience, and 12% of ex-smokers people vape to save money compared to smoking.

Of most current smokers, 19% of people vape to reduce smoking habits, 17% of current smokers are vaping to help them quit smoking, and 13% to avoid going back to smoking.

On the other hand, the minority of never-smokers who vape mention enjoying the experience (39%) and just giving it a try (27%) as their primary motivation.

Types of Vape Devices Used

The most common type of vape device used by vapers is a refillable tank system, with 50% of current vapers reporting this type as their primary setup device, but disposable vapes are rapidly gaining ground.

Disposable vapes jumped from 15% of vapers using them in 2022 to 31% in 2023.

Disposable vapes have become especially popular among younger adults. 57% of 18-24 year old vapers use disposables, up from 2.8% in 2021.

The reasons why more and more people choose disposable vape pods: 32% of the reason is the convenience of disposable pods, since most Disposable vape pens are draw-activated, meaning they produce vapor as soon as you take a puff.

So, it provides an easy and convenient vaping experience right out of the box. 21% for the reason of pleasant flavor taste, which the refillable pod systems or other type vape devices can’t hit the same as, and 11% is for the cause of cost.

We did write an article about Disposable Vape Addiction Among Teenagers, How To Stop It? Check here for more.

Most vapers stick to low nicotine strengths under the legal limit of 20mg/ml, with only 1.2% admitting to using illegal higher powers.

However, misperceptions persist about the relative harms of vaping compared to smoking. 4 in 10 smokers wrongly believe vaping is as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

Only 34% accurately say vaping is less harmful. Former smokers who have switched to vaping have the most realistic perceptions – 75% correctly see vaping as less dangerous.

Over a quarter (27%) of cigarette smokers have never tried vaping. Their main deterrents are concerns about substituting one addiction for another (20%) and doubts about the safety of vaping (14%).

Perception of harm

An important point for beginners is the perception of harm associated with e-cigarettes. There is a common misconception that vaping is as harmful as smoking.

Four out of ten smokers hold this belief. However, it’s important to note that 75% of ex-smokers who vape correctly identify that vaping is less harmful than smoking.

Why some smokers haven’t made the switch

Despite the benefits, some smokers have yet to try e-cigarettes. The reasons vary: 20% fear they’ll be replacing one addiction with another, 14% have safety concerns, and 13% doubt e-cigarettes can help them quit or cut down.

A final word

Vaping is becoming part of the cultural fabric of the UK, with a diverse group of people choosing e-cigarettes for various reasons.

As a vape beginner, it’s essential to understand these dynamics and make informed decisions about your vaping journey.

Remember, the choice is personal, and what works for one person may not work for another. Happy vaping!

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