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Survey to Measure the Effectiveness of Electronic Cigarettes - October 2012

Survey concludes that e-cigarette users feel better, have the support of friends and family, and save money compared to buying tobacco cigarettes.

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Users rated effect of electronic cigarettes Summary
   Participants now only smoking tobacco cigarettes
   Participants now only using e-cigarettes
   Participants now smoking tobacco cigarettes and using e-cigarettes
   Participants that quit smoking



The objective of this survey was to understand the experience that tobacco smokers have with electronic cigarettes and to explore their effects. Specifically, find answers to the following questions: Back to top


An anonymous online survey was sent to an audience that previously interacted with the electronic cigarette review website in 3 different ways:
  1. Subscribed to the newsletter.
  2. Posted a product review or commented on a review.
  3. Send an inquiry to through the online contact form.
A link to the survey was also posted on the company's Facebook, Google+ and Twitter page.

165 people started the survey and 162 completed it.

It is important to note that this survey was not conducted by a company/website that sells any e-cigarettes or related products. is an informational website providing consumer reviews and buying guidance to its visitors.

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The gender ratio of the participants was well balanced with 52.7% female and 47.3% male. The participants' age distribution was as follows:
Q: How old are you?
It is good to see that nobody in this audience was less than 18 years of age.
Q: For how long did you smoke tobacco cigarettes or have been smoking tobacco cigarettes?
More than 72% of participants have been smoking tobacco cigarette or smoked them for over 15 years. This is not surprising considering that more than 73% of the participants were over 40 years of age.

Assuming that all participants had purchased e-cigarettes in the past the next question assessed the current "smoking" habit.
Q: Which of the following best describes your current 'smoking' habit?
Only about 13% of all participants reverted back to traditional tobacco cigarettes whereas 55% only use e-cigarettes. It was somewhat surprising to see that 26.8% now use traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. It is great to see that 5.5% quit smoking altogether.

All the subsequent survey questions asked did depend on the participant's current "smoking" habit.

Participants now only smoking tobacco cigarettes

These participants did not successfully switch to e-cigarettes and reverted back to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. The majority of this group used their e-cigarette for less than 6 months.
Q: For how long did you use an electronic cigarette?
To find out why this group discontinued "vaping" a multiple choice question was posed.
Q: Why did you discontinue to use your electronic cigarette?
The results indicate that e-cigarettes primarily did not satisfy the user's cravings and habits but product issues and cost were key factors as well.

Participants now only using e-cigarettes

About 82% of this group that actually made the switch from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes has been using the device for more than 6 months. This is a very long time for smokers and is very encouraging number.
Q: For how long have you been using your electronic cigarette?
The effects of electronic cigarettes on how people feel, their financial benefits, and social acceptance are overwhelmingly positive.
Q: Please rate the effect of using an electronic cigarette on health, savings, and social acceptance
Over 92% agree that they feel better. Not even one participant disagreed with the statements "I feel better" as an effect of using electronic cigarettes.

76% stated that the device saves them money. It is fair to assume that this is due to the fact that refill cartridges for e-cigarettes and cheaper than packs of traditional tobacco cigarettes (see Savings Calculator).

A whopping 94% of e-cigarette users find that their friends and family support their switch to e-cigarettes. Only about 2% did not seem to have this kind of support.

Participants now smoking tobacco cigarettes and using e-cigarettes

This group of participants did not manage to completely leave tobacco cigarettes behind. But they alternate between traditional and electronic cigarettes and about 60% have been doing so for more than 6 months.
Q: For how long have you been using both tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes?
A large majority of this group also finds positive effects of using an electronic cigarette on how they feel, their savings, and social support.
Q: Please rate the effect of using an electronic cigarette on health, savings, and social acceptance
74% agree that they feel better, 81% of this group have the support from friends and family when "vaping", and 75% find that using the product is cheaper than smoking tobacco cigarette.

Participants that quit smoking

Without any doubt quitting smoking (tobacco and e-cigarettes) is the best solution for health and wallet. Only about 5.5% of all participants quit smoking but 55.6% of those strongly agree that the e-cigarette helped them quit. However, the group here is divided with 44% not giving any credit to e-cigarettes when quitting.
Q: Please rate: the electronic cigarette helped me quit smoking.

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This survey clearly shows that a large majority of electronic cigarette users feel better, have the support of their friends and family, and that the product saves them money. These are overwhelmingly positive results that position e-cigarettes as a solid alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

Some of the smokers that tried e-cigarettes but continued to smoke tobacco cigarettes did so because they did have product issues or stated that the product did not work for them. E-cigarette manufacturers need to continue to improve product quality and reliability.

E-cigarettes can help smokers quit. While only a small percentage of smokers surveyed actually quit more than half of those stated that e-cigarettes helped them quit.

Actual health benefits cannot be derived from this survey and it was not its intension. The conclusions here were formed by based on their interpretation of the statistical results of this survey.

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