Women Over 55 Vaping: How trends in e-smoking for both women and men show different tastes, choices and coming to terms with lifestyle choices.
In the mid-70s, almost 30% of high schoolers smoked cigarettes. At the time, smoking was much more prevalent in society. TV and movie characters smoked. Smoking was allowed everywhere. Even on airplanes! Young people who went to high school in the 70s were surely exposed to smoking on a repeated basis. Smoking was even thought to be ‘cool’.
Those who went to high school in the 70s are now entering their mid-fifties. Many started smoking as teens and ended up with a lifetime addiction to nicotine. As young women left high school and started adult life, the smoking habit followed them. In fact, by 1980 almost 30% of American women were smokers.
American women tried multiple smoking cessation methods through the 80s and 90s. Nicotine gum has been around since the 70s. The nicotine patch came around in 1984. Then came hypnosis and acupuncture. In 1997 the first non-nicotine smoking cessation medication, bupropion, was launched. Women tried a number of quitting methods. For some, the smoking cessation methods worked. But not for all.
As the young women of the 70s balanced building careers and raising families through the decades, many continued to struggle with smoking. The fact of the matter is that many women gave up on the idea of being able to quit. They felt that smoking was their fate. But then something changed around 2010. The electronic cigarette came along.
The Introduction Of The E-Cigarette
The first e-cigarette companies started gaining traction in America in 2007. By 2010, vaping had gained a foothold. However, vaping was most often associated with young people. Especially young men who were staunch vaping enthusiasts using large box-shaped mods and blowing enormous clouds of vapor. While designed to be an alternative to cigarettes, vaping had become something more. A cultural phenomenon embraced by younger smokers who loved the technology of vaping. But that’s not the whole story.
When the media talks about vaping, they usually show a scene from a vape convention full of young, bearded men vaping giant clouds of vapor. The loudest advocates for vaping are younger people in their 30s and 40s who praise vaping as a better alternative to smoking. However, there is an entirely different side of the vaping movement that draws much less attention.
Baby Boomers Vape, Too
While much quieter and with a tendency to keep to themselves, millions of baby boomers around the world are vaping instead of smoking. That includes women over 55. Generally speaking, boomers did not get into the hobbyist aspect of vaping. Unlike younger smokers who took to the gadgetry of e-cig technology, boomers keep it simple. Often preferring basic, easy to use e-cigarettes that look like tobacco cigarettes.
In the vaping community, the cigarette style e-cigs are thought of as passe. The younger generation of vapers sees the cigarette style e-cigs as ‘old school’. The 55 plus crowd takes a different view. Baby boomers love old school! And the basic, original electronic cigarette design is alive and well including with women over 55.
Mig Vapor owner and CEO DRay Moorman, a baby boomer and former smoker himself, said that women over 55 are the number one customers. ‘Women over 55 get their e-cig starter kits here,’ he said. We have surveyed over 2,000 Mig Vapor customers and the majority are women over 55. They were lifelong smokers before they switched to vaping.
The data also showed that almost all of the women over 55 who now vape started smoking as teenagers. These women were part of the 30% teen smoking rate of the 70s and the 30% women smoking rate of the 80s. Now, 40 years later, the baby boom generation of women is finding their way to vaping.
What Women Vape
Women over 55 tend to prefer the cigarette-style e-cigarettes. There are multiple reasons cited for the preference. Obviously, using an e-cig that looks like a cigarette is familiar for a lifelong smoker. In addition, cigarette-style e-cigs are easy to use. They are not techy, showy gadgets. The user attaches a cartridge and vapes.
Celebrity women over 55 also vape simple, cigarette-style e-cigs. For example, Julia Lou-s-Dreyfus made waves vaping a black e-cigarette at the Golden Globes. Courtney Love actually became a spokesperson for NJOY, a company that makes the cigarette type e-cigs.
Recently, e-cigarette flavors have become controversial. With flavor bans happening in a variety of states, we looked into the survey data to see which e-cigarette flavors women over 55 prefer. According to Moorman’s survey data, women over 55 like these flavors:
- Tobacco Flavors – 48%
- Fruit + Other Flavors – 36%
- Menthol – 16%
While you may not see these women at the next vape convention, they are out there. They are seeing their kids through college now or spending time with grandchildren. Many are at the pinnacle of their careers and have reached leadership roles in business. Women over 55 are showing no signs of slowing down.