Recently, 100 citizens of the city of New York took the time to express their attitudes and experiences for an e-cigarette survey. Hey, what better place to go for attitude than New York City!

The respondents were between the ages of 16 and 72 and from a variety of backgrounds. They did not necessarily have to know about types of cigarettes or vaping,they were randomly selected and all of their answers counted.

New York vaping survey 2014

The first question on the survey was, “Have you ever smoked an e-cigarette (vaped)”? Well a whopping 37% have indeed tried vaping. For you Arts majors that means that 63% had not. Don’t be embarrassed; I was an arts major, too.

The next question was, “Are you familiar with the recent New York City regulations on smoking e-cigs?” The results tell us that 61% are unfamiliar with the current regulations in their fine city. I don’t think this is a surprise given how often these regulations change and the variances in regulations from city to city. It will take some time before everyone is on the same page and we have regulations that we can all be aware of.

No smoking sign in a NYC park

Next up folks were asked, “Is it legal to smoke an e-cig at a public park or beach in New York?” In this case 54% were aware that it is illegal to vape in public areas in NYC. 40% thought it was okay to do so while 6% didn’t know.

The next question was an important one. People were asked, “Does it bother you when others vape indoors?” A full 62% said that being in the same room as someone vaping did not bother them. Then a follow up question, “How about vaping on an airplane?” 75% said that it would not bother them! Only 23% said that they would prefer if vapers would refrain until exiting.

62 percent of people don't mind vapor indoors

Does it bother you when others vape indoors?” 62% of New Yorkers surveyed said that being in the same room as someone who is vaping did not bother them.

Despite the seemingly tolerant view toward vaping, 57% of the people asked did say that it should NOT be legal to vape indoors. Fair enough. Evidence shows that indoor vaping does not have much on an impact on air quality (according to tests conducted in a 250 square foot room) but people have a right to not want to be around vaping.

New York survey on vaping

How do e-cigarettes compare to standard tobacco products?” 71% said that either both are bad or there was no difference. Five minutes in a room with a cigarette smoker followed by five minutes in the same room with a vaper would change a lot of minds on this question.

The nest question was about which flavor of e-cig sounded the most appealing. The answers were:

  • No flavors appeal to me – 34%
  • Menthol flavor – 22%
  • Regular tobacco flavor – 15%
  • Watermelon flavor – 14%
  • Butterscotch flavor – 5%
  • Red Bull flavor – 3%
  • Some other flavor – 6%

For the last question surveyors inquired about e-cigs and pop culture. The 100 New Yorkers were asked, “Can you name a celebrity that smokes e-cigs?” 93% said no. Leonardo DiCaprio was named by 2% of respondents. James Franco, Emile Hirsch, John Stamos, Jennifer Beals, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus each were recognized by 1%.

Leonardo DiCaprio is the biggest celebrity that vapes

E-cigs are still mysterious to most people. Clearly awareness is increasing but unfortunately that awareness seems very much influenced by the media’s tendency toward negative headlines and doomsday style reporting. That’s understandable, the golden age of journalism has long since passed and we are well into this new century of news as entertainment.

Believe it or not, part of entertaining folks is scaring them, as attested to by line-ups to see horror movies and the popularity of my Facebook photos from last summer at the beach. Like they say, if it bleeds, it leads.

In the end, the truth usually wins out. This is all part of the process for the e-cig industry. The good news is that at this point smokers are in no danger of losing access to a less harmful option. So keep vaping and take care.