Older Demographics Switching to Vaping
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A growing number of individuals in the higher age brackets are turning to vaping to quit smoking. Older citizens, those 65 and up, usually have lower percentages of smokers than other demographics. Partially because of the mortality rate of traditional cigarettes—many people simply don’t make it to those ages.

But there is a growing wave of older smokers taking up vaping to kick the habit for good.


In the mid-60s, the number of older adult smokers hovered around 18.3%. Twenty years later it fell to just under 15%, and for the last few years, the number has been sitting steadily around 8-9% coupled with rising numbers of older adult vapers.


“Vaping is clearly less harmful than regular cigarettes,” said Dr. Steven Schroeder, Director of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at UC San Francisco.


Dr. Schroeder is not alone. In fact, many doctors agree that e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes despite federal reluctance to say as much.


Vaping opponents love to point fingers at nicotine, stating that e-cigarettes still contain this harmful chemical. While it’s true nicotine is the hook that keeps smokers coming back, it’s actually the toxic preservatives and additives in combustible cigarettes that cause all the problems.


“If you could get nicotine in a safer form, like an FDA-approved medication, even for the rest of your life, you’d be in far better shape,” said David Abrams, a clinical psychologist at New York University. “Any smoker, especially an older smoker, who isn’t thinking about switching is doing himself a major disservice,” Abrams said.


One such woman who’s recently taken up vaping had this to say, “Three days later, I realized I hadn’t smoked a cigarette in three days. I thought, ‘This is working out kind of nice. Quitting is not supposed to be this easy.’”