US

Latest Surveys Show Smoking Rate In Free Fall As Vaping Stays Strong

The US smoking rate has plummeted to a record low, while the percentage of Americans vaping remains at an all time high.

The smoking rate typically declines by around one percentage point per year, but in 2015 that decline doubled, falling from 17 to 15 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Development (CDC).

CDC data released Tuesday shows the two percentage point drop was the biggest since the year 1992 to 1993 when the smoking rate fell by 1.5 percentage points.

The CDC’s findings came the same day as a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showing the percentage of American adults vaping in 2016 still going strong a 10 percent.

The percentage of vapers remained stable from the last Reuters/Ipsos poll in 2015 despite a bombardment of bad headlines for e-cigarette users. But the poll was also filled with also dark clouds for e-cigarette advocates.

Almost half of respondents said vaping was just as dangerous as smoking compared to 38 percent who said the same this in 2015. The percentage of people who don’t believe e-cigarettes can help smokers quit rose from 39 percent in 2015 to 43 percent in 2016. (RELATED: Gallup Poll Shows Smoking Rate Collapsing As E-Cigarette Use Soars)

Two-thirds of people said vaping can be addictive and 49 percent said it could have a similar effect to second-hand smoke compared with 49 percent and 42 percent in 2015 respectively.

According to some industry analysts, the stall in e-cigarette growth could be good news for Big Tobacco. “In some ways, a move away from e-cigarettes is actually positive for Altria and Reynolds, Morningstar analyst Adam Fleck told Reuters. Fleck argues the  pointing out it may help sustain sales of conventional cigarettes, whose margins are much higher.

Fleck argues fewer vapers could mean sustained sales of regular tobacco cigarettes, which are more profitable than e-cigarettes. Wells Fargo estimates US e-cigarette sales could reach as much as $4.1 billion in 2016.

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