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Percentage of Smokers in the Military drops. Vaping increases.

Percentage of Smokers in the Military drops. Vaping increases.


May 21, 2019

Promising news coming out in favor of the vape industry.

Smoking in the military is hitting new lows, as more of enlisted men and women are choosing the alternative, vaping, over combustible tobacco. Daily smokers among all the branches in the military have now plummeted to 7.4 %1, even a lower percentage than the civilian population. Smoking in the military has, for the most part, been common. This goes back to the Second World War, where tobacco companies had advertising deliberately targeting military servicemen. It even went as far as cigarettes being provided as part of the K and C rations being provided to soldiers and sailors during World War II. 

Military Smoking Rates Decrease

This isn’t news however; it is largely known that cigarettes were pushed so hard on soldiers that some could say that it became a part of the military culture. “Before 1987, when tobacco use was banned at most training commands across the military services, giving or denying “smoke breaks” was a common form of reward and punishment used by drill instructors and company commanders training new soldiers or sailors.” Fast forward to 2011, 24% of servicemen and women are actively smoking.

When one in four are active smokers, then that is when you know something has been ingratiated into the culture. But this statistic has changed with the rise in popularity of electronic cigarettes. With the sharp decrease in smokers, the percentage of active vapers in the military is about 11.1%.

Ruthless Military Smoking Rates

Military officials have taken steps in the past to decrease the number of smokers, even trying to raise the cigarette prices on base. Yet, it seems that the alternative that is working for a large portion of the general population is also effective in the military. But with the backlash from the FDA and other government entities, where will that leave the enlisted who use vape as the alternative to cigarettes? What choice do they have left? Will they be pushed back to using combustible tobacco? What is the plan for the military when cigarettes are easier to get ahold of than vapor products.