One in seven use electronic cigarettes

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One in seven use electronic cigarettes

Two thirds using e-cigs to quit, one quarter to one third are successful

TORONTO December 11th, 2014 - In random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 2154 Canadians 18 years of age and older, 1-in-7 had ever used an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette (15%), and this behaviour is especially characteristic of the youngest (26%), the least wealthy (24%), in the Atlantic provinces (21%) and Alberta (19%) and the least educated (secondary school or less - 21%).

Most users also smoke tobacco

Among those who use e-cigs, two thirds also smoke tobacco (64%), and this is especially the case among the least wealthy (84%) and those in Atlantic Canada (74%). One quarter used to smoke tobacco (27%) and one tenth have never smoked (9%). Among those whose primary reason for use is to help quitting tobacco, a similar proportion no longer smoke (24%), and this may be considered the success rate for this method of smoking cessation.

"Vapers" equally like to use disposables, refillables

Relatively equal proportions, just more than 4-in-10, "vape" disposable e-cigs (45%) or the permanent refillable models (42%). As a refillable e-cig is considerably more costly than a disposable, and requires more maintenance, it is safe to say the refillable users are especially committed to vaping. Those using e-cigs to quit are especially likely to use refillables (48%).

Majority use nicotine e-cig fluid

The majority use nicotine fluid in their e-cigs (53%), either always (29%) or sometimes (24%). Just less than half never use nicotine (47%). Among those using e-cigs to quit tobacco, more are likely to say they always use nicotine "juice" (41%) and fewer, but still a substantial minority, say they never vape nicotine (32%). Those vapers who smoke tobacco still are more likely than all vapers to say they use nicotine juice "always" (38%) or "sometimes" (30%). Those who smoked in the past but do so no longer (many of whom are successful quitters) are much more likely than all vapers to say they never use nicotine juice (63%). Just one third are using nicotine juice (Always - 17%, sometimes - 20%). It is interesting to note that very few of those vapers who never smoked tobacco use nicotine now (4%), while virtually all do not (96%), which would discount the theory that vaping is a gateway to smoking.

Most using e-cigs to quit tobacco

When presented with a list of reasons for using e-cigs, the plurality pick "to help quitting tobacco" (29%), followed by those who like the flavours (16% in total, 52% among those who have never smoked), the fact they can be vaped where "analog" cigarettes cannot be smoked (14% in total, 18% among those still smoking now), because they're healthier than analogs (10% in total, 14% among those who have never smoked), because they're more convenient than analogs (6% in total, 18% among current smokers) and because of a doctor's advice (4% in total). In total, two thirds of vapers cite quitting tobacco as one of the reasons for vaping (62%).

7-in-10 say e-cigs are successful quitting aids

Seven-in-ten vapers who are doing so to quit tobacco say they were successful (70%), and well more than a third say they were very successful (37%). Among those who used to smoke, but do so no longer, three quarters find e-cigs were very successful at helping quit (76%). Those who still smoke are one third as likely to say they have been very successful (24%), but this may be the quit rate for this method of smoking cessation, and it is an impressive one, as the average quit rate for all types of smoking cessation aids is less than 10%.

Half say outcome of attempt to quit has been successful

One half of those vapers using e-cigs to quit tobacco have done so (48%), either still using nicotine juice (22%) or not (26%). One half are still smoking tobacco but have cut down the amount they use (52%). Among those who smoke now or did so recently, one third say they are no longer doing so (35%), either using nicotine (16%) or not (19%).

"Although penetration of e-cigarettes is not that high now, those using them are the young, and this behaviour is bound to become more popular. It appears, contrary to authorities' fears, that vaping is not a gateway to tobacco smoking, and many people who never smoked enjoy e-cigs for the flavours, not the nicotine. On the other hand, many vapers are trying to quit smoking tobacco, and between a quarter and a third are successful at this. So, it appears e-cigarettes don't represent the trojan horse they are painted as, and may be a very useful smoking cessation aid," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.