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There is no shortage of studies to suggest that men and women use cigarettes differently. Some studies even show that cigarettes light up different receptors in the brain based on gender.
So, it’s only natural to assume that when it comes to vape products in NZ and around the world, gender might highlight a few differences, too. And, so far, it has.
The Gender Differences Study
A study on ‘gender differences in use and expectancies of e-cigarettes’ was published in Volume 52 of Addictive Behaviors in January 2016, and showed some surprising results.
The study highlighted the findings discovered in an online survey from August to November in 2013. It looked into factors of initiation, maintenance, patterns of use, and outcome expectancies surrounding e-cigarette use in both men and women.
Over 1,800 vape product users participated in the study. They were 18 years and older, had a history of daily smoking, and had smoked tobacco cigarettes for at least 12 months. All had also reported that they had used an e-cigarette in the past four weeks.
What Did the Study Find?
Significant differences were cited between how a man uses an e-cigarette and how a woman does. Key differences were in the areas of the e-liquid flavours, the type of e-cigarette used, where e-cigarette information was sourced, and where those e-cigarettes were purchased.
Men and women also differed in where they used e-cigarettes and why they decided to take up vaping. According to the study, men were more likely to start using e-cigarettes and quit smoking due to health concerns. Females, on the other hand, reported initiation from family and friend recommendations.
Regarding maintenance, the results were surprising here, too. Men said they used e-cigarettes because they enjoyed them. Females reported a higher number of ‘negative reinforcement attributions’ which were things like stress reduction and mood management.
Men also rated e-cigarettes highly for their taste and social facilitation, but females spoke more of their ability to help with weight control.
The results of the survey were not all that dissimilar from those found with gender differences in cigarette smoking.
What Kind of E-Cigarettes do Men and Women Use?
The vape product market has grown in recent years, with a variety of high-quality products to suit all manner of vapers. Strangely, though, men and women have different preferences when it comes to flavour, e-cigarette type, nicotine dosage, and brands.
Women were more likely to use disposable e-cigarettes, low dosages of nicotine, and non-tobacco flavours. They also preferred first generation e-cigarette brands.
Women were also more likely to learn more about vape products from their friends and family, TV and advertising, and gas stations. Men, on the other hand, learned much of what they wanted to know about vape products from online forums.
According to the study, men were also more likely to use e-cigarettes in places where cigarette smoking is not allowed.
Why Are People Vaping?
We know that men are more likely to vape because they enjoy the flavour and the social component. We also know that women are more likely to take up vaping from the recommendation of friends and family. But, generally, why are people making the switch? As it turns out, that reasoning is changing over time.
Over three years from 2012 to 2015, over three million public tweets were analysed for a study at San Diego State University.
The study, led by study author and public health researcher John Ayers, included references for using e-cigarettes, but excluded general references to vaping.
After categorising each tweet, seven primary reasons were found for people choosing to vape. These included:
- Low cost
- Favourable odour
- Flavour choices
- Can use indoors
- Safe to use
- Quitting regular cigarettes
- Social image
Forty-three percent of tweets outlined that quitting regular cigarettes was the most common reason for transitioning to vaping, followed by social image at 21 percent, and indoor use at 17 percent.
However, by 2015, less than 30 percent of tweets outlined that quitting smoking was the leading reason. Social image was up at 37 percent, and being able to vape indoors dropped to 12 percent.
Are There Health Benefits of Vaping?
Given how harmful cigarette smoking can be, it makes sense to quit. But for some, cold turkey is not an option. That’s why many people decide to transition to vape products. Still, not knowing if vaping is any better than smoking may lead people to question their decision.
There’s no denying that the long-term health consequences are unknown, but that doesn’t stop there being some surprising benefits of vaping. Not only do you save money, but you may also notice some health improvements, according to a study.
Long-term smokers in a study at the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom saw improved blood vessel function of 1.5 percentage points within one month of transitioning to vaping. Researchers believe if those improvements were sustained in the long term, cardiovascular events like heart attacks could be reduced by as much as 13 percent.
If you’re ready to quit smoking, but you’re not sure how, then why not look at cessation tools like vaping? Talk to your GP about the best option for you.