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Vaping on the Up

Media outlets are reporting incidents of a growth in the number of vapers as smokers in New Zealand and South Africa seek to use the technology to escape from a tobacco-related disease future. The stories detail how vaping could offer further benefits to non-smokers/vapers.

The New Zealand Herald reports that a national electronic cigarette retailer is “astounded by the growth in sales since tobacco prices increased 10 per cent on January 1.” The boom in retail sales is such that they quote the anonymous source as saying that vaping equipment is "the best thing I've ever sold".

The happy ecig seller goes on to say: “I'm astounded at how many people are buying them, and at how many people are giving up smoking using them. It's a quiet little revolution. I gave up cold turkey 10 years ago and it was hell - for about a year. The hardest thing to give up about smoking is the puff and the kick. These [customers] say it's easy, and they've been trying for years and years.”

Considering the volume of bad press that vaping receives, it’s as though the Herlad is carrying out a free advertising campaign for the harm reduction product. They quote one contented user saying: “It's also the amount you can save. It was about £35 initially, and a thing of oil (for the e-cig) is about £8, which lasts a couple of weeks. That's compared to probably a 30g in five days, which is £40 and heaps to take out of your benefit.”

The South Africans are banging the drum for vape too. Business Day Live relays the story: “South Africans are vaping up a storm.” Highlighting the growth in numbers taking place, they add: “E-cigarette franchises, between 60 and 70 in the country, are reporting exponential growth in the local market as traditional cigarette smokers use the devices to quit tobacco based cigarettes. One of the biggest local brands, Twisp, reports that it grew 4,000% between 2012 and 2016.”

They spoke to a pair of retailers who described how their business has bloomed from eight thousand to fifteen thousand customers, reflecting in a 65% increase in profit from their four stores. Part of this, they say, is down to customers constantly updating the kind of device they use: "It’s like any gadget in the technology world. What was cool six months ago is not cool now. Devices have advanced so much in recent years.”

Both articles mention in passing some people’s concerns about flavours appealing to children and vaping renormalising smoking – but not only has this been debunked in the United Kingdom, Twisp discovered the same with their survey: “Of 4,000 of its clients found that 98% were previous smokers.”

Maybe then the landlords of multi-unit housing in San Diego should take note. Given recent research findings proving that vape is almost entirely made up of water, encouraging smokers to switch would offer a solution to the reported issue of second-hand smoke. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims to discover: “Even though a majority of residents say they live in a smoke-free home, more than a third said smoke from tobacco products enters their homes from elsewhere in the building.”

Is it worth holding our breath waiting for the CDC to recognise the benefit vaping could offer these residents?