For World No Tobacco Day on May 31, Austrian e-cigarette manufacturer VON ERL. is publishing the initial findings of the world’s biggest e-cigarette and vaping survey and gives insights into the habits and preferences of consumers.

Austria – Over 5,000 people worldwide took part in an online survey about e-cigarettes and vaping from April to May 2017. Depending on nationality and gender, there were interesting results about vaping behavior, flavor preferences, decisive purchasing criteria and acceptance in society. On behalf of VON ERL. the study will be repeated in a yearly rhythm. The quantitative and qualitative data analysis will be performed by the University of Innsbruck. The initial findings are already available for World No Tobacco Day.


Vaping is classed as less harmful to one’s health
“The vaping community reacts very sensitively when vaping is called smoking, because it is classed as less harmful to health in comparison to smoking conventional cigarettes. This should be highlighted for World No Tobacco Day”, says Günter Höfert, VON ERL. CEO.


Almost all vapers (97.2%) are convinced that e-cigarettes are less harmful to their health than conventional cigarettes. Increased acceptance has also become apparent amongst non-vapers; 43.2% perceived vaping to be less harmful in comparison to smoking, and only 12.2% say that it is more dangerous. The rest stated that it is just as dangerous. When asked “where have you had negative experiences with vapers?”, more than half of the respondents said they have had no negative experiences.


Two thirds see e-cigarettes as part of the process of stopping smoking.
When asked “why do you vape?”, 75.2% of active vapers selected the option “healthier than smoking”. The second most frequent reason for vaping was the variety of flavors (68.4%), and stopping smoking came in third place (65.8%). Over half of the respondents (50.2%) also see a financial upside to vaping. Those who have bought the hardware – the e-cigarette – once can refill it with comparatively inexpensive liquids, called e-liquids.



Liquids with less nicotine are trendy
Many smokers are actually switching to vaping with the goal of completely coming off cigarettes. “We can see this most of all in the purchasing behavior of our customers: while people starting out still reach for liquids with more nicotine, those switching reduce their nicotine content over time. The consumption of eliquids with lower nicotine content also proves to be true in the answers given by the respondents. 67.2% use e-liquids containing between 1 and 5 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter. This can even lead to vapers doing completely without nicotine and only vaping ‘aromatic liquids’ with their e-cigarettes”, says Höfert.



The average vaper is young, fruity and likes quality.
What does the classic vaper look like? The surveys shows that the classic vaper is primarily male and 35 years old. He/she earns between €1,000 and €2,0001 net per month, mainly uses open systems and vapes fruity aromas (e.g. apple, strawberry etc.) with a nicotine content of 1-5mg nicotine per ml. The preferences of the female respondents are very similar to those of the male ones; only when it comes to what they are willing to pay are men usually prepared to pay more.



1 Currencies are adjusted depending on the country. 2 When an e-cigarette has an open system, it means that the e-cigarette can be filled with any liquid. Closed systems have their own so-called liquid pods, which can be inserted in the model they are intended for.

Italy’s favorite flavor is tobacco, and Germany mostly buys online
In German-speaking countries, fruity aromas such as apple and strawberry are the most popular flavors (DL: 57.6%, A: 52.7%). In Italy, one of the major first choices is tobacco aromas (39.2%).


And where do vapers purchase their equipment? People in Germany do most of their purchasing online; 84.6% buy their e-cigarettes from online stores, closely followed by specialist retailers with 76.6%. In Italy, the preferences are similar, with 79.3% buying from online stores and 61.1% from specialist retailers. Whereas in Austria, specialist retailers are at the front of the list; 81.1% buy from specialist retailers and only 42.1% from online stores. “The online mail order ban in Austria means that Austrians mainly buy from specialist retailers or online stores abroad”, concludes Höfert.


About the study
The survey began in April 2017. In the first phase in May 2017, a global survey was put online on behalf of VON ERL., in which over 5,000 people took part. The analysis of the online questionnaire was performed by the University of Innsbruck and enables initial general statements about the worldwide vaping community to be made. As a special focus was put on the European markets of VON ERL. in this first step, representative results for Austria, Germany and Italy are already available and can be published.


In the following course of the study, a more precise view of markets such as the Unites States and Russia will be created using expert interviews, based on the results of this initial online survey. Designed as a long term study, the intention is to repeat these surveys in a yearly rhythm, in order to regularly record global developments in the vaping community.


About VON ERL. – A WORLD company
VON ERL., based in Hall in Tirol (A), originated from the innovation department of an Austrian medical technology company. The experience from 50 years of precision craftsmanship, the know-how of first-class trained specialists, and the passion for new technical solutions are united by the Tyrol-based company in its products. The company headed by CEO Günter Höfert numbers just under 30 employees, and its products are available in more than 3,000 outlets in twelve countries (AT, DE, IT, UK, FR, CH, CA, US, MY, RU, JP, IL). Via the VON ERL. online store, products can be sent all over the world (EU-wide in accordance with statutory regulations).
Further information about the results with illustrative diagrams can be seen at