While the number of vapers in America is still relatively low compared to the number of smokers, new reports show that in the military, vaping is becoming massively popular. In just a few years, the number of troops who smoke has dropped dramatically while the number of vapers has quickly taken its place. Clearly, troops are eagerly switching over to vaping in an effort to quit cigarettes for good.
So, why is vaping so much more popular within the military than it is in the rest of the country? As you’ll see, there are a number of factors at play.
Taking the Military by Storm, According to Statistics
Back in 2011, about 24 percent of military members were cigarette smokers. In just eight short years, that number has dropped to about 7 percent. Interestingly, the current number of vapers in the military is about 24 percent, meaning that we can safely assume that the majority of smoking troops kicked the tobacco habit in favor of e-cigarettes.
These numbers don’t exactly reflect all Americans. Currently, 12.9 percent of Americans are regular smokers. While that number has declined over the years, it’s still fairly high compared to the statistics that reflect the military.
As far as vaping is concerned, the numbers contrast even more greatly. Currently, about five percent of American adults consider themselves vapers. So, in the United States, more people smoke than vape, while in the military, more people vape than smoke.
Of the 24 or so percent of vapers in the military, 11 percent are everyday users. The rest are social or occasional users. An amazing 14 percent of vapers in the military are members of the Navy, which is pretty surprising considering the fact that this is the only branch in which e-cigarette use is completely banned.
One report showed that between 2011 and 2015, the number of smokers within the military dropped at its fastest rate ever. Meanwhile, during these years, the vaping industry was quickly booming. So, it’s easy to find a correlation between the prevalence of vaping products and decreasing cigarette use.
Now, the question is why is it becoming increasingly popular?
Proper Tobacco Education
In America, we do have access to education regarding the dangers of tobacco, but we’re not exactly exposed to it on a daily basis. In the military, however, anti-tobacco education is a standard part of training. So, it’s likely that members of the military are switching to vaping as a result of their exposure to information about the many ways in which cigarettes are harmful.
High Taxes on Tobacco Products
In an effort to deter troops from smoking, the military has enforced certain regulations that aim to make cigarettes less accessible within military grounds. The greatest deterrent is high taxes, making cigarettes far more expensive than they are in the rest of the country. Meanwhile, e-cigarettes and vaping products are sold at retail cost, making them just as accessible as they are throughout the United States.
Intense Physical Demands
Another thing to consider is the fact that military members are typically subjected to grueling fitness regimens in order to ensure that they’re in the proper physical shape to execute their many crucial tasks. As we all know, cigarettes rob the body of its respiratory and cardiovascular health, making it difficult for users to maintain physical stamina. Smokers are known for developing shortness of breath, a loss of physical energy and frequent coughing. All of these symptoms can greatly interfere with physical performance.
Currently, vaping hasn’t been found to contribute to any of these symptoms, making it far more appealing to troops who are expected to stay in good physical shape.
Easier to Hide
Unlike smoking, vaping is easy to hide. Cigarette smoke clings to everything in its surroundings while vapor dissipates almost as soon as the user exhales. On military bases, smoking is prohibited in many areas. However, vapers can discreetly satisfy their needs.
Numbers Don’t Lie
The fact that such a large number of troops are switching from smoking to vaping is seen as a very good thing among vaping advocates. Our industry hopes as time goes on, more Americans will discover the ways in which vaping is a great alternative to tobacco use.