Of late, vaping has skyrocketed in the US market. Juul has overtaken 60% of the market share on e-cigarette and vape device sales. Researchers continue to study and argue for the positive effects of vape use, compared to smoking conventional cigarettes. Even celebrity endorsements and signature product lines are in advertising. I can walk to the corner gas station and buy a vape product. The vape is not an unknown or obscure device to the modern American consumer.
Chief among vape users, according to a new Gallup poll, are people in the 18-29 age group. According to Gallup, “the rate [of vape users] is 20% among those 18 to 29 years of age compared with 8% among those 30 to 64 years of age, and less than 0.5% among those 65 and older.” Gallup reports that “[o]ne in five Americans under age 30 vape at least occasionally.” By a large margin, the youngest age group surveyed holds the highest percentage of “regular or occasional” vape users.
Anti-smoking campaigns have been prevalent and persistent in the upbringing of the millennial generation. Campaign efforts like TheTruth.com have at our events, and in our media and our schools for decades. My generation was taught very specifically of the dangers of tobacco products. I remember my elementary school’s D.A.R.E. program having a tobacco awareness component.
There is a stark difference in views on smoking of the 18-29 year old demographic of the early 2000s and those of today. Gallup reported, “In the early 2000s, about a third of 18- to 29-year-olds reported smoking cigarettes in the previous week, the most of any age group.” A separate Gallup survey conducted this month reflects only 15% of those surveyed between ages 18-29 had smoked a cigarette in the last week. That’s impressive compared to the 5 and 9 percent increases in ages 30-49 and 50-64, respectively.
With millenials projected to be the “largest living adult generation” in the US, monitoring consumer trends in younger buyers is increasingly important. The tobacco industry may see continued decline in their product use, unless companies can distance themselves from one of America’s oldest cash crops. While it appears Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds are attempting to find a way to compete with vapes, their newest products still rely on tobacco, which is intrinsically tied to the thought of cigarettes.