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Personal Finance Reports

The Money Behind Vaping

In recent years, few consumer products have taken off as quickly as electronic cigarettes and vaporizers. 

Just in this last decade, we have seen Uber take over taxis, flip-phones evolve into smartphones, and Netflix cut into cable. 

But, perhaps no change is more noticeable than the rise of vaporizers and the decline of traditional tobacco products, like cigarettes. Walk down any city street, and you will see thick clouds of e-cig smoke and vape shops on every other corner.

According to Statista, an aggregator of data sources, global online sales of e-cigarettes have surpassed $650 million, while overall e-cigarette sales in just the U.S. have surpassed $2.35 billion. Furthermore, one in every five Americans e-smoke at least once a day.

In the spirit of these changing times, LendEDU wanted to get a better understanding of the consumption habits of “vapers” in the U.S. We polled 1,000 daily users of nicotine e-cigarettes or nicotine vaporizers; keep reading to see our discoveries. 

The Consumption Statistics of Vapers

We asked the following question to 1,000 daily vaporizer users: “How much did you spend on your vaporizer or vaping device?”

Respondents were given the opportunity to enter in a free dollar amount ranging from one dollar to $500, which, believe it or not, is the price for some of the nicest e-cigarettes.  After averaging together all 1,000 responses, we determined that the average amount spent on a vaporizer or e-cigarette was $80.20.

Subsequently, this question was than proposed to the same pool of respondents: “On average, how much do you spend per month on refill cartridges, e-juice, e-liquid, or other related vaping products? (Note: one time purchases for new, reusable vaporizer hardware were excluded)”

Similarly to the previous question, our 1,000 “vapers” were given the chance to enter in any amount ranging from one dollar to $500. Upon averaging together each of the 1,000 answers, we found that the average monthly expenditure for monthly “vapers” was $60.76.

Afterwords, poll participants were asked the following: “On average, how many individual purchases do you make each month on products related to vaping?”

This question also worked liked the previous two questions did, except the range was tightened to between one and 50. LendEDU found that the average daily user of a vaporizer makes 9.29 purchases per month related to vaping.

Using the average number of purchases per month figure and the average expenditure per month figure, we can reason that the average e-cigarette purchase amounts to  roughly $6.54. 

Most Ex-Traditional Tobacco Users Are Saving Money By Vaping

Comparing vaporizers or e-cigarettes to traditional tobacco consumption vehicles like cigars or cigarettes is inevitable. These are serious threats to the economic health of the traditional tobacco industry that has gone unchallenged for more than a century.

LendEDU wanted to find out if our poll participants were saving money by vaping instead of smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. 

The following question was asked to each respondent: “Have you saved money by consuming nicotine using a vaporizer and not through traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, etc.?”

The majority of vape consumers, 71 percent, indicated that switching from traditional tobacco products to vaping products has saved them money. Only 19.6 percent stated that their new habit has not helped save them money, while 9.4 percent of respondents could not give an answer because they never smoked traditional tobacco vehicles before vaping. 

The results from this poll question seem to indicate that, for the most part, using a vaporizer or e-cigarette is a much more cost effective way to consumer nicotine when compared cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or chewing tobacco. So, not only is the new-age way ofsmoking susposedly healthier, but it is cheaper as well.

For those 710 poll participants that stated they were saving money by using a vaporizer or e-cigarette, we wanted to find out how much money they were saving. ​To do that, the following question was asked: “How much money do you save each month by consuming nicotine using a vaporizer and not through traditional tobacco products?”

This select pool of respondents were prompted to enter in a dollar amount ranging from one dollar to $500. After averaging together all 710 responses, we found that these “vapers” were saving $118.05 per month by using vaporizers or e-cigarettes and not traditional tobacco vehicles. Projecting that monthly save amount over a year, we found that these consumers are saving $1,416.60 per year by making the switch, on average. 

There could be a reason why consumers of vaporizers or e-cigarettes are saving so much money: budgeting. We asked the following question to all 1,000 respondents: “Do you include vaping expenses in your monthly budget?”

As the above chart depicts, nearly two-thirds (65.6%) of “vapers” are indeed budgeting for their monthly vaporizer expenses, while 34.40 percent are spending freely. Generally, budgeting will save you money because of the structure it provides, and expenses for vaping are no outlier to the rule. 

Reusable Vaporizers Dominate the Market

The final question of this poll was worded like so: “Do you use a reusable or one-time vaporizer?”

The vast majority of “vapers,” 82.7 percent, indicated that they use reusable vaporizers, while 17.3 percent stated their preference for one-time vaporizers. This could be another reason why many vape consumers are saving money. Reusable vaporizers only require a refill of the nicotine substance that is consumed, while one-time vaporizers need to be purchased each time that nicotine runs out.


All data that was used in this poll came from an online poll commissioned by LendEDU and conducted online by online polling company Pollfish. In total, 1,000 adult Americans were polled for this study. Respondents were filtered via screener question to ensure they were daily users of nicotine e-cigarettes or a nicotine vaporizer. The poll ran over a two-day span from November 1, 2017 to November 2, 2017. All respondents were asked to answer each question truthfully and to the best of their ability.

See more of our research.