By John Castle
Vaping has overtaken smoking as the most popular nicotine delivery method used by members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
According to recent survey results, smoking in the armed forces has dropped below that of the general population. In 2015, 7.4 percent of service members smoked compared to 12.9 percent of adult smokers outside the U.S. Armed Services. Occasional cigarette use has declined by half since 2011, from 24 percent to 13.9 percent.
At the same time, vaping has replaced its more harmful alternative when it comes to service members’ use. Daily use of vapor products is reported at 11.1 percent, while occasional use is reported to be 12.4 percent. Breaking down the numbers, 20 percent of junior enlisted service members now use vapor products. Vaping is reportedly most popular among the members of the United States Marines, where it is reported to be preferred by 16.1 percent of members. Even in the U.S. Navy, which prohibited the use of vapor products, the practice is reported to persist among 14.5 percent of members.
While the numbers alone may not be conclusive on this point, it is not unreasonable to infer that U.S. Service Members are switching to vaping for the purpose it was intended: as a less harmful alternative to smoking.