December 21, 2016 – SmokShop.com are one of the largest UK retailers of electronic cigarettes and we recently carried out a survey to determine what the average ‘vaper’ looks like. A number of questions were asked and the results were surprising to say the least.
If you look at the marketing for most e liquid and vape companies you could easily be forgiven for thinking the target audience would be male, and somewhere between the mid-20s and early 30s. The emphasis in the main seems to be on hip, urban street culture and most photos and images you see appear to be of men represented by the younger generation.
So, the data we collected from over half a thousand electronic cigarette users, ranging from 18 to 72 was expected to back this up. But as it turns out the average vaper isn’t what you would expect at all.
This is the first time SmokShop have conducted a survey like this and the results have opened up some interesting discussion on marketing and advertising strategies.
The survey aimed to highlight who the typical vaper is. This took into account, age, sex, and reasons for vaping. The data below highlights some surprising results:
- Vapers under 30: 15.5%
- Vapers over 40: 66.6%
- Vapers over 50: 39.3%
- Vapers over 60: 15.7%
- Vapers over 70: 1.6%
- Vapers that have quit smoking altogether since vaping: 83.5%
- Vapers that want to quit vaping one day: 13.2%
- Male vapers: 76%
- Female vapers: 24%
What do the results show?
The Average Vaper is: Male, 45 years old, been vaping just under 3 years. Uses 9mg nicotine and takes around 180 puffs per day. He has quit smoking completely and has no plans to quit vaping.
Arguably the most surprising statistic is the fact that over 66% of vapers in the survey are over the age of 40, with nearly 40% being over 50 and a mere 15.5% being under 30.
This means the typical vaper probably doesn’t look at all like they are portrayed in the media. Granted, some vape shops may be hang outs for the stereotypical vaper, but the majority are ex-smokers from the older generation ordering their e cigarettes and e liquid online, and no doubt quietly using vaping as a substitute for smoking.
This leads on to another interesting discovery. The fact that 83.5% of the vapers SmokShop surveyed haven’t touched a cigarette since they started using e cigarettes. This is an extraordinarily high success rate for a smoking cessation product, and one that is food for thought for the NHS who in Jan 2016 gave their backing to e cigarettes as a means to quit smoking.
How does this affect the e cigarette industry?
The most remarkable thing about this survey is it highlights how the e cigarette industry have missed a huge audience in their marketing strategies.
With the older generation embracing vape culture (15.7% in the over 60s), it would be wise for e-cigarette manufacturers to cater more towards the needs of the over 50s than the under 30s.
This is not to say the younger generation are not keen on vaping, as they may well be sourcing more intricate mods, kits and atomisers from elsewhere. It’s just they seem to be the visible minority with ‘cloud blowing’ and all the nuisance connotations that go along with the perceived vape culture.
The over 50s appear to be the silent majority who are quietly vaping after many years of smoking tobacco, which has not only seen an increase in price but also has many stigmas attached since the smoking ban of 2007.
Another interesting point to note here is how the 15.7% of vapers over 60, and more so the 1.6% over 70 have no problem embracing technology like e cigarettes, which are not always the most intuitive devices. It’s heartening that we live in an age where the over 60s and indeed 70s are comfortable using computers, the Internet and making informed decisions about products such as electronic cigarettes, and not isolated at home like some stereotypical images would lead us to believe.
So, with Christmas around the corner, buying a vape pen for grandma might not seem like such a farfetched idea!