Public Attitudes Towards Smoking and Vaping: Full Survey Data

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Public Attitudes Towards Smoking and Vaping: Full Survey Data

We recently conducted a survey to understand the public’s attitudes and behaviours towards smoking and vaping in an ever-evolving society. The survey shed light on the key motivations behind smoking and vaping, perceptions of accessibility, the comparative health risks, and the general public’s views on the legality of these habits.

Smoking vs Vaping

In our surveyed population, 22.94% identified as smokers, whereas the majority, 77.06%, declared that they do not smoke.

Delving into the main reasons that led individuals to start smoking, over half of the respondents (56.48%) indicated that they were driven to smoke due to social situations, revealing the powerful influence of societal factors and peer pressure. The next most common reason was stress relief, accounting for 23.32%, while impressing someone was the reason that a smaller 7.25% of respondents took up smoking.

Vaping, an alternative to traditional smoking, was reported by 27.21% of our respondents. A vast majority of the respondents who vape (69.79%) reported that they took up vaping as a means to quit smoking, signifying the perceived role of vaping as a smoking cessation tool. Stress relief and social situations were less common reasons, attracting 14.04% and 12.34% of the respondents respectively.

Respondents felt that both smoking and vaping are relatively accessible, with 68.16% finding smoking accessible and an even larger 86.21% finding vaping accessible.

Perception of Health Risks

Participants’ views were somewhat split in terms of their perceptions of the health risks associated with these habits. While 44.85% of respondents thought vaping was as harmful as smoking, a slightly larger proportion (55.15%) disagreed, suggesting that vaping is generally perceived to cause lesser harm compared to smoking.

Legal Views on Smoking and Vaping

When asked about the legality of smoking and vaping, most respondents were in favour of keeping both practices legal. 65.27% believed smoking should be legal, and a larger 79.06% believed the same for vaping. This indicates a general tolerance or acceptance of these practices within society, despite the known health implications.

Vaping as a Replacement for Smoking

Three-in-five respondents (63%) agreed that vaping is a good replacement for smoking, echoing the initial motivation to vape as a method to quit smoking. However, 37% disagreed, indicating that vaping may not be seen universally as a better alternative.

Would You Date A Smoker or Vaper?

Attractiveness of Smoking and Vaping

When it comes to attractiveness, smoking is widely viewed as a turn-off, with an overwhelming 87.26% of respondents deeming it unattractive. When asked to explain, respondents cited the following reasons:

  • “It just smells bad and looks scruffy.”
  • “Causes wrinkles and bad breath.”
  • “It’s a health concern.”
  • “It’s damaging to oneself and others around.”
  • “It evidences dependency.”

One respondent said: “You just have to look at the poor saps who stand at hotel, pub, hospital entrances, etc. sucking on their ciggies to realise it’s not a good look. When I started, it was considered the height of sophistication. The public mood has changed entirely since then and smoking is now rightly regarded as anti-social.”

Vaping, while less stigmatised, was also seen as unattractive by a significant 64.05% of respondents, indicating a preference for smoke-free partners in general.

Dating Preferences and Smoking Habits

When it comes to dating, more than half of the respondents (56.54%) expressed that they would not consider dating someone who smokes. This finding reinforces the general perception among a majority of respondents that smoking is unattractive, indicating that the habit may be a potential deal-breaker in romantic partnerships.

Dating Preferences and Vaping Habits

Attitudes towards dating someone who vapes were slightly more lenient but still revealed a considerable resistance. Nearly half of our respondents (43.28%) said they would not consider dating someone who vapes. The fact that this percentage is lower than that of smokers may reflect a lesser stigma attached to vaping, likely due to its image as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Workplace Perception of Smoking and Vaping

Understanding how personal habits such as smoking and vaping affect professional relationships is crucial to fostering a healthier and more inclusive work environment.

Workplace Perception of Smoking

Interestingly, almost 10% of respondents indicated they would treat a colleague differently if they discovered they smoked. While the majority would not change their behaviour based on a colleague's smoking habit, this percentage suggests there is a segment of the workforce that might carry biases or altered perceptions related to this personal habit. This could be due to health concerns, negative stereotypes or simply a personal aversion to smoking.

Workplace Perception of Vaping

When it comes to vaping, our survey found a similar response. Nearly 10% of the respondents said that learning that a colleague vapes would change the way they treated that person. Although vaping is often viewed as a less harmful alternative to smoking, it seems to carry a comparable level of social stigma within a professional environment.

To read about our results in further detail, you can download our full survey findings here. If you wish to utilise any part of this data for editorial purposes, please credit EDGE Vaping at