Mainstream Success Is Turning Nevada Into The Vaping Capitol Of The US

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

Former smokers in Nevada are becoming the most enthusiastic and vocal advocates about the benefits of electronic cigarettes, according to a study tracking vaping through social media.

The study looked to assess the national popularity of vaping through Twitter trends, and found that e-cigarette users form an active community online. VaporFi, a popular e-cigarette retailer, culled through roughly 55,000 comments about vaping on Twitter between 2015 and 2017, using longitudinal data to map and analyze the tweets, Market Watch reported Wednesday.

More than 10 residents in every 100,000 in Nevada post about vaping on Twitter, comfortably topping California and Hawaii, the second and third most popular spots for vaping, according to the study. Researchers found that Nevada’s residents are “the most enthusiastic about vaping.” Nevada also topped the list with the most popular city for vapers.

“Winchester, NV, was far and away the city with the most people talking about vaping,” Cindy Glover, spokesman for VaporFi, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is the vaping capitol of the United States.”

The researchers said vaping first took hold on the West Coast, largely in California, before catching on in the rest of the country. Importantly, researchers noted that vaping popularity is roughly the same in rural, suburban and urban environments, although rural users were more active about their support on Twitter.

VaporFi highlights the fact that vaping emerged from the grassroots level and is still largely driven by small businesses. The study found that the number of vape shops in the U.S. jumped from 3,500 to 10,591 between 2014 and 2016, but notes that the current plans of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put those numbers in jeopardy.

The FDA wants to federally regulate vaping as tobacco and force businesses to get every product approved through a costly process that will likely bankrupt most shops.

Vaping eliminates up to 95 percent of the risk associated with cigarettes because the majority of cancer-causing chemicals are inhaled through smoke. A 2o16 survey published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found 57.8 percent of practicing physicians recommend e-cigarettes to smokers trying to quit, although the push to cast public doubt on vaping may be impacting this number.

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