Vaping has surpassed smoking as the preferred nicotine product among Americans under 30, according to a new poll by Gallup. And younger people’s attitudes toward vaping are much more positive than older groups.
“Because young people have become much less likely to smoke in recent years, it’s possible that vaping is functioning as a substitute, which, if true, may have positive health implications,” says a report from the 83-year-old polling organization.
Among 18 to 29-year-olds polled this month, 20% vape “regularly or occasionally,” and just 16% smoke cigarettes. Among older age groups, the percentage that vape is less than half that number. Among the entire adult population, 9% vape, and 20% smoke.
In addition to vaping more, younger people also have more positive attitudes about e-cigarettes. While all of the age groups polled understand that smoking is “very harmful to health,” those under 30 were much less likely to believe vaping is harmful. Just 22% of 18 to 29-year-olds think vaping is very harmful.
The news is bad for tobacco companies. Not only is the population of young cigarette customers beginning to dry up, but their reduced-risk nicotine products are not popular among the new vapers. They have almost no presence in the vape shop and online markets, and their share of convenience store/gas station vape market is shrinking each month as JUUL’s sales grow.