Acceptance of Electronic Cigarettes

Despite the fact that electronic cigarettes have attracted an array of unhelpful and sometimes misleading headlines, a recent survey by Harris Interactive entitled “2014 American E-Cigarette Etiquette Survey” offers an interesting insight into the industry. The headline statement from the survey, commissioned by US group Mistic, suggests that of the 1,011 adults questioned an impressive 63% who replied have no issues with electronic cigarette use in their close proximity.

This headline figure would seem to be at odds with what governments and regulators around the world are suggesting and certainly gives the fight against overzealous regulations a further boost. This survey is perhaps one of the most in-depth in relation to electronic cigarette use across the US and when you bear in mind the market could be worth in excess of $10 billion by 2017, it will become more of an issue going forward.

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Smoking in public places

There seems to be a growing acceptance of electronic cigarettes across the US with 58% of those questioned having no issues with electronic cigarettes at sporting events, 47% in shopping malls, 45% in restaurants and bars, 35% in offices, 35% on public transport, 29% in a movie theatre and 26% during flights. The issue with regards to the use of electronic cigarettes in-flight has been discussed at great length of late with Air India recently deciding to proactively sell electronic cigarettes – something which has annoyed the Indian government.

The survey also contained an array of other interesting points one of which was the fact that men on the whole seem to be more accepting of electronic cigarettes than women. For example, 71% of men questioned had no issues with electronic cigarette use in their close vicinity while the figure dropped to 55% for women. The same pattern emerged with regards to electronic cigarette use in restaurants or bars with 52% of men who responded having no issues while this falls to just 38% with women. Sporting events also attracted different feedback with men again more tolerant with 65% against 51% of women.

Age-group tolerance

Overall 70% of those aged 18 to 34 who expressed an interest have no issues with electronic cigarette use in their close proximity although this figure falls to 46% for those aged 65 and over. There were also similar variations when asked about individual places of use which does in some way support the general consensus that electronic cigarette use is more popular within younger age groups.

While some politicians may use these figures as a means to suggest that those around the age of 18 have a significant interest in electronic cigarettes, the actual figures quoted relate to the age group 18 to 34. Whether indeed this is a social issue, pricing issue or perhaps those in the order age groups are more reluctant to try alternatives to tobacco cigarettes is in itself an interesting matter of discussion.


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This is one of the more in-depth electronic cigarette surveys of late which seems to indicate a growing tolerance for the use of electronic cigarettes in the US. If you were to read the general press you would probably get the opinion, via comments from the political arena, the general public is either against electronic cigarettes or relatively uninterested in the situation. However, surveys such as this will certainly give the electronic cigarette industry, and supporters, interesting food for thought and should assist them in their fight against overzealous regulations.


Mark Benson is a contributing author for Spinfuel eMagazine. His continuing columns will bring a level headed approach to the dynamics involved in realizing a positive future for the e-cigarette industry. For more information on electronic cigarettes and the various products available please visit the OKCigs website.

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