Why The Rise of Middle-Aged E-Cigarette Users

The growing trend of the Vape and E-Cigarette industry is no secret, with reports that the global vapour and E-cigarette products market are now worth an estimated £17.1 billion (up from £4.2 billion just five years ago). With over 3.2 million Vape or E-Cigarette users in the UK alone, it is now a mainstream trend.


As the younger age group of 18-25-year olds take up most of the market share (around 28%), there is a common misconception that E-cigarettes and Vaping is purely for the younger generation. However, lately the biggest rise in e cigarette users is in the 45-54 age group with an increase from 13% market share in 2016 to 20% in 2018. This represents an astounding 53.8% increase in 45-54-year olds in just 2 years!


Regarding these statistics, Roshida Khanom the associate director of beauty and personal care at Mintel, said: “Over the last couple of years the proportion of vapers has increased with a particular rise in 45-54s. This increase in vapers among middle-aged Brits may be reflective of them joining what they consider a fashionable trend. Our previous research shows that 45-54s are the age group that are most likely to agree that vaping is fashionable (71%)”


E-Cigarettes Are Considered Fashionable


There are various factors behind the rise of the middle – age demographic. First the huge positive shift of perception about the e-cigarette industry. According to research from Market researcher Mintel on smoking cessation and E-Cigarettes, 71% of the 45-54 age group now see vaping and E-Cigarettes as “fashionable”, a stark contrast to opinions on the industry just a few years back.


This can be partly down to the change in design of e-cigarettes, away from the bigger and bulkier ones to smaller and sleeker. SMOKO for example has created a range of UK made products, tailored towards the middle age group, with a classy and sophisticated aesthetic, as well as an extensive range of delicious flavours, from fruity, to traditional to delight everyone’s taste. SMOKO products are as similar as possible in appearance and feel to a standard cigarette, to make the transition over for any user as smooth as possible. 


Healthier Alternative


With the increased research into the industry, there has been extensive evidence of Vaping and E-Cigarettes being a safer option than cigarettes. Public Health England stated that "e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful that normal cigarettes. In addition, The Royal College of Physicians claim that "e-cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities in health that smoking currently causes”.


Cigarettes have multiple poisons including; carbon monoxide, tars and hydrogen cyanide (chemical used in hardening steel and iron). There are 4,000 other chemicals of varying toxicity, including 50 known carcinogens, which is the cause of cancer in living tissues. In e-cigarettes (such as SMOKO) though there are just 4 chemicals.


According to the Journal of Social Nursing 2018 “Of 498 older smokers, 75% wanted to quit smoking cigarettes and 60% had tried e-cigarettes”. This shows proof of the direct correlation between the increase in middle aged cigarette quitters and e-cigarette users.


Finances of the 45-54 age group


The 45-54 age group are known as the “Maximize Savings Group” due to their dedication to saving money towards pensions and retirement.


A recent survey by the BBC found that “people aged between 45 and 54 were the group most concerned about their future finances”.


Will Railton from Investment cooperation Blackrock stated, “The financial pressures of children and ageing parents mean that 45 to 54-year-olds are more likely than any other groups to be saving nothing for retirement. They face a perfect storm of financial pressures, which include supporting children, ageing parents and other demands simultaneously”.


With all this in mind it makes sense that the middle age group are switching from cigarettes to the more cost-efficient option of Vapes and E-Cigarettes. In order to fully maximise their savings and cut back on day to day expenses.


Investment management company Brewin Dolphin and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), calculated that if a 45-year-old saved £2.50 a day that would accumulate £625 a year. If they saved that into a pension and benefited from even the basic rate tax relief (20%), the annual savings of £625 would have grown to £23,915 by the time they reached 65, (assuming annual growth of 2% and inflation of 1.6%).


Switching to an E-Cigarette like SMOKO from a standard cigarette is a much bigger saving for a smoker than just £2.50. By using a brand like SMOKO a smoker could save £8 a day or more!


The average pack in the UK costs £10, whilst a SMOKO refill costs just £2. If we use the Brewin calculation for SMOKO, this works out to you saving £2920 a year. If saved into a pension and benefitting from even a basic rate tax relief (20%), that sum would have grown to £111,730.88 by the time you reach 65!


Second-Hand Smoke


Most middle age people will have children or grandchildren around them, which makes them more in danger of second-hand smoke. NHS inform stated “Children breathe faster than adults, which means they take in more of the harmful chemicals in second-hand smoke. They're even more sensitive to smoke than adults because their bodies are young and still developing”.


People exposed to second-hand smoke face the same dangers as smokers. They too inhale the same poisonous gases and thousands of toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke, the various health risks associated with second- hand smoking include respiratory illnesses, high blood pressure and strokes.


Cancer research UK reported than an estimated 11,000 deaths in the UK alone every year are caused by second-hand smoking. The middle-age demographic may be more aware of the dangers their cigarettes are doing to the people around them (especially children) and has been a motivation for them to switch to non-dangerous smoke of E-cigarettes.


Health of the 45-54 age group


According to Bupa, 35% of British 45-54 years old are obese, and 27% suffer from depression. Such daunting health statistics and problems within this age group may make people more health conscious. Especially when looking into the influence smoking has on both problems.


A recent study by The BMJ found “being obese is associated with an increased risk of taking up smoking and smoking frequency”.


When you smoke, your heart does extra work due to an increase in resting heart rate, making it rise to a dangerous level. Cigarettes harm blood vessels and reduces oxygen to the heart, making any exercise extremely difficult, meaning smoking for individuals in this age group put them at an even further risk of heart disease. Which is further damming when you add that to the statistic that heart disease is already the biggest killer for middle aged men.


Your blood flow is also hugely impacted by smoking as the carbon monoxide in cigarettes narrow arteries, which reduces the flood of blood to vital organs. This makes exercise problematic and can lead to the failure of vital organs and muscle deterioration. Your lungs are also hugely impacted by the tar in cigarettes coating them, damaging your ability to absorb oxygen.


It is a misconception that smoking helps mindfulness. Smoking has the adverse effect, and increases depression, anxiety and tension, due to individuals relying on cigarettes as a cure rather than seeking the proper medical help to get better.


Beyond the stats, most people in this age group have seen a parent or friend affected by a smoking related disease which would also prompt them to start looking for healthier alternatives. 


It is no wonder there has been a dramatic increase in usage of electronic cigarettes!

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