Vaporizing Routines & Rituals: Consumer Survey Report

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by: Nima Noori

Founder and CEO of TVape
March 1st, 2017

When you first start vaping, everything is new, fresh and exciting. You’re not quite sure what temperature to use, what type of vapor you like, you don’t know how much herbs to use or even how long a session can last. But as time goes by you start to form a routine, you grind your herbs in a specific fashion, use a specific temperature, and even hold your vape in a particular way.

Alva Noë, who writes for NPR.org, defines a habit as, “a skillfully routinized manner of action or thought.” We all have routines and habits in our daily lives, from how we brush our teeth, to how we unwind after a long day at work. Because humans naturally gravitate towards a routine, it would make sense that those of us who are vapers would develop their own routines when it comes to how they interact with their vaporizers.

At TVape, we always love to hear from our customers, so we decided to send along a survey asking people questions about their vaping routines and rituals. We were curious if vapers had similar routines when it comes to vaping or if they are all vastly different.  At the time of writing we received over 350 responses and to be honest some of the results were quite surprising. So let’s jump right in and explore the wonderful world of vapers.

Who are these vapers?

So who uses vaporizers? Many would suspect the average age of vaporizer users to be somewhere in their 20’s or 30’s.

However from our results the age split is surprisingly even with the largest majority of respondents at 34%, being age 50 or more.

Our second highest age bracket is 19 – 29 year olds at 24%, followed closely by 30 – 39 year olds at 23% and then finally the 40 – 49 year olds at 19%.

If we split the ages to 19 – 39 and 40+ the split shrinks even more, with 47% being of the younger age bracket and 53% being of the older age bracket.  It is quite surprising to see such an evenly distributed age range from our respondents and really shows that perceptions are not everything.

It would appear that vaporizing is popular with almost every age bracket but surprisingly it is most popular with those aged 50+. In fact, a report from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention that was cited by an LA Weekly article found that, “the 55-and-older crowd is much more likely to hit that vape… after dinner.”

So if you are trying to spot a vaper in public, it may not be that 20 something in tight jeans but it may just be that sweet elderly couple sitting on the bench.

Do vapers still smoke?

We are always curious if people who join the vaporizing community completely switch over or if they still smoke on occasion. So we deciding to ask people on average how often do you smoke instead of vaping?

50% of respondents said that they do not smoke at all and have completely switched to vaporizing, while the other 50% is sprinkled between 1 – 2 times a week, 3 – 4 times a week and 5+.

20% said they smoke only 1 or 2 times a week but what is interesting is that 19% said that they smoke more than 5 times a week.

That means out of 100 vaporizer users roughly 50 of them are still smoking on occasion, while 19 of them are smoking fairly frequently on a weekly basis as well as vaping.

We originally hypothesized that the number of people who smoke this often would be far less and are curious about why people still choose to combust when they own a vaporizer.

One respondent does shed a little light on the subject stating, “I usually vape alone and “combust” in a social setting.” (Respondent 343)

So perhaps the reason why people continue to smoke has more to do with social situations, as many vapers still have plenty of friends who still smoke. And if they find themselves at a party or social setting and do not have their vaporizer, they will still partake and smoke instead.

Where do people vape?

People who smoke generally tend to do so outside where the odor will not cling to the walls or bother others in the house. But what about those who use vaporizers, where do they tend to use their devices?

When asked, an impressive 85% responded that they primarily vape indoors, while only 15% said they mainly vape outside.

This response coincides with a previous survey we conducted about the perceptions of Smoking vs Vaporizing, where 59% of people surveyed said their friends and family allowed them to vaporizer indoors. As our previous survey discovered, “people who are close to those who have made the switch [to vaporizing]… generally feel safer allowing their loved ones to vaporize indoors than smoking.”

However this does not necessarily mean people only vaporize indoors but merely on average tend to do so indoors. Perhaps if we asked this question in July, rather than mid-February, we may have gotten more people leaning towards outdoors.

As one respondent remarked, “If it’s a nice day I vape outside with my Arizer Air or if it’s a typical B.C. day I’ll vape inside with my Arizer Extreme Q”, (Respondent 284).  So it would appear people’s routines very well may change depending on the weather.

When do people vape?

Routines tend to revolve heavily around time of day, some people wake up in the morning and immediately need their cup of coffee, others enjoy going to the gym after work. We wanted to know when people typically tend to use their vaporizers. We first started by asking what time of day do you primarily vape?

54% said that the primary time they use their vaporizers is at night, many with the same remarks as Respondent 326 who stated, “[I vape] after work during the week and all weekend starting with my morning coffee.”

What is really interesting is that only 2% of respondents said they vape in the morning and only 4% said they start vaping at noon.

This result helps shatter the general public’s perception of vaporizer users, who many suspect spend their entire waking moment vaping. When in actuality most vaporizer users reframe from using their units until the end of the day when all their responsibilities are over, using their vaporizer more like a glass of wine after a long day, with one respondent remarking, “We do it at the end of the night after our kids go to bed then talk and depending make love.” (Respondent 204).

We next wanted to see if there was a clear difference between people’s vaping habits on a weekday and a weekend. We hypothesized that people would vaporize more on the weekend rather than during the week. However when we asked people when they vaped most, it turned out to be a 50/50 split between those who vaped more during the week versus those who vaped more on the weekend.

We decided to dig a bit deeper and ask people specifically how much they typically vaped on a weekday, and then we asked how often they would vape on a weekend day.

To our surprise the results were very similar between week days and weekend. During the week 45% of respondents reported to using their vaporizer 1 – 3 times in a day and 24% reported using them 4 – 6 times during a week day. On the weekend the amount of users who use their units 1 -3 times a day goes down 1% to 44%, but the amount of people who tend to use their vaporizer 4 -6 times increased 4% making a total of 28%.

So people tend to use their vaporizers a bit more on the weekend but the increase is fairly marginal. It actually appears more people stick to their daily routines even when on the weekend.

Once again this shatters the public perception that vaporizer users, when given the chance, would spend their entire days off using their vapes. The reality is quite different, people tend to use their vaporizers in the same way no matter the time of week and seem to rely more on daily routines than a weekly routine.

Even though we know that people on average tend to vape 1 – 3 times a day, this does not necessarily mean that each time they are vaping they are using fresh herbs. Some vapers will use the same herbs for multiple sessions until their herbs are fully extracted, while others finish a chamber in one shot. But how many vapers subscribe to each method? Our next questions aimed to answer just that.

We first asked if people vaporize through an entire chamber in 1 session. Our original hypothesis was that a majority of people would use the same herbs throughout the day, but the results show the opposite.

64% of respondents said that they vaporize through an entire chamber in one session while only 36% said they vaporize through a chamber in multiple sessions.

Perhaps people who have made the switch from smoking are still used to previous routines in which an entire chamber would be cashed after a session and unusable for another.

In this light we were then interested to know how many times during a normal day do people refill their chamber.

57% of people said they refill their vaporizer at least 1 or 2 times a day, with only 28% refilling 3 – 4 times and 15% refilling more than 5 times.

Lastly we wanted to know how long people’s sessions tended to last. Some people, like medical patients, want to get sessions done quickly so they can get quick relief and go about their day. Others enjoy a more elongated session, perhaps while curled up and watching their favorite Netflix show.

The results were pretty evenly split between the less than 5 minutes, 5 minutes and 10 minutes lengths, with 10 minutes leading the charge with 27%.

Only 17% stuck around for 15 minutes and only 11% said their sessions lasted 20 minutes or more.

We are curious if the vaporizers themselves influence people’s vaping times, as most units have auto-shutoffs programmed between 5 to 10 minutes, which would account for the large majority of people’s sessions lasting for that specific amount of time.

What about temperatures?

Temperatures ranges are probably the biggest factor that vapers form their habits around. The temperature you vape at directly controls the quality of vapor you receive. People are very particular about their vapor and tend to find a temperature routine that fits their needs and stick with it.

The first thing we wanted to learn was whether users preferred thinner, more flavorful vapor, or thicker and generally harsher vapor.

37% of respondents replied stating they preferred thick vapor with only 21% saying they preferred thin vapor. However 42% of respondents stated that their preferred vapor quality also depended on their mood. But it is safe to say that the majority of people still lean towards thicker vapor when push comes to shove.

Next we wanted to know how people preferred to read their temperatures. Many vaporizers are designed in the USA and therefore opt for Fahrenheit as their main unit of measurement.

However when we polled our clients, 73% said that they actually preferred Celsius. The one limitation to this survey question is that we are primarily asking customers of our Canadian e-commerce site, and seeing as Canada uses Celsius, it would make sense that most users would opt for this unit of measurement.

However seeing as only America uses Fahrenheit, we would suspect a world-wide poll would have similar results, while a strictly American poll would favor Fahrenheit.

To follow up that question we then asked users what their preferred temperature range for vaporization was.

The largest majority of people, at 34%, preferred a temperature range between 201C and 210C, followed by those who preferred 191C – 200C at 28% and those who preferred 211C – 220C dropped to 17%.

The biggest outliers are at the bottom and top of the temperature spectrum with those who preferred 180C – 190C at 12% and those who preferred higher temperatures between 221C and 230C at 9% of respondents.

So now that we have an idea of peoples preferred temperature ranges, which seems to lie between 191C and 210C, we wanted to dig a bit deeper and see if people slowly increase their temperatures over their session or if they prefer to stay at one temperature.

Unexpectedly 69% of respondents stated that they stayed at the same temperature during the entire session, with only 31% of users saying they increase their temperature over a session.

The reason why we find this so interesting is that manufacturers like DaVinci have programmed their units like the Ascent and the IQ with technology that will increase the temperature automatically as you vape.

This feature impressed most critics, but from our survey it would appear this feature is largely ignored by the general user.

Instead we would hypothesize that people would prefer a unit that is simple like the Utillian 720 that offers 8 temperature ranges or a unit like the ZEUS Smite + which allows you to set your temperature down to the individual degree.

How do people interact with their vaporizers?

Livescience.com reports that only 10% of the population is left handed. Vaporizers for the most part are designed to be ambidextrous allowing for people to enjoy their unit in whichever hand they like. Knowing that 10% of the population is left handed we were curious what our users preferred vaping hand was.

Personally I vape with my left hand even though I am right handed. My thought is that I use my left hand to vape so I can keep my right hand free for other activities like browsing the internet.

However, it would appear that I am in the minority with only 18% of people responding that they use their left hand to vape. This is still higher than the 10% of people who are actually left handed, which means some people out there are as weird as me. But the majority of users, at 60%, tend to hold their vaporizers in their right hand when enjoying their herbs.

Our next question focuses more on people’s preferred mouthpiece material. Vaporizer mouthpieces can be made from a wide range of materials, from glass to silicone or plastic. We decided to see what type of mouthpiece users preferred to use during their daily vaping rituals.

Not surprising, 66% of people preferred glass over any other material. Glass has the perception of being the most pure material to make a mouthpiece out of and is known to be the best at preserving flavor. Glass is also much easier to clean than any other material. Notable units with glass mouthpieces are the Arizer Solo, Arizer Air, and Zeus Smite, all of which are hugely popular units.

What surprised us about these results is that the second most preferred material is plastic at 20%. People are generally more wary of plastics, especially plastics that are being exposed to heat. While most plastics used in vaporizers are generally safe, people still tend to have a negative connotation towards plastic.

So we were surprised to see plastic outrank metal and silicone significantly. However, one factor that may contribute to this is that high end units, like the Volcano, Crafty, Mighty, Utillian 720 and Firefly 2 all use plastics for their respective mouthpieces without any influence on the vapor. So perhaps these companies are helping to change the perception of plastic mouthpieces used in vaporizers.

We learned from our “Mysterious Habits of Vapers” post in 2015 that the biggest pet peeve for vaporizer users was hot vapor. With this in mind we asked our consumers if they use an Iceborn or water filter to cool down their vapor during a session.

From our results, we found only 12% of users report using a vapor-cooling accessory, while a shocking 88% use nothing to cool their vapor.

We found this result a bit surprising to say the least, especially since hot vapor is a vaper’s number 1 pet peeve. Shots of vaporizers filtered through water pipes are in abundance on the internet, like in Reddit’s r/vaporents community. And the Iceborn, which uses frozen water inside the device to dramatically cool down vapor from your unit, is a huge hit in our shop.

But from these results it would seem the general user does not incorporate any type of cooling system into their daily routines.

The Iceborn is still in its infancy, only being released at the end of 2015, so the demand is still building. And companies have only now started offering custom made water pipe adapters for their units. Maybe as the community continues to grow we will see more people incorporating a cooling system into their vaping rituals.

The last thing we wanted to ask vaporizer users is what they do with their herbs after they have been vaporized?

It saddens us to see that 63% of users throw out their herbs after they have been vaporized, with only 37% saving their cooked herbs for other uses. Vaped herb is also known as ABV (already been vaped) and can actually be used to cook with, in fact we actually have a blog with our top 5 favorite ABV recipes. So the fact the 63% of people are actually wasting their herbs by throwing them out is a bit astonishing.

Perhaps people are just not aware of the other various uses for already cooked herbs. Once again, perhaps as the vaporizer community grows people will become enlightened to the fact that their herbs have more to offer after being vaped and that peoples routines will extend into using their vaped herbs for baked goods and other various concoctions.

The Profile of a Vaporizer User

With these results we can start to draw conclusions and form an idea of what the routine is for an average vaporizer user.

We can conclude that the average vaporizer user tends to still smoke on occasion, vapes primarily inside, is right handed and is anywhere between 19 – 50+ years old. They prefer a glass mouthpiece and do not use any type of cooling device as part of their routine.

During their vaping routine, the average vaporizer user prefers their temperatures to be read in degrees Celsius, uses one temperature during the entire session, which is usually around 201C – 210C, and finishes a chamber in 1 session.

During their vaping routine, the average session length for a vaporizer user is about 10 minutes and the average user vapes 1 – 3 times in a day, refilling their chamber 1 – 2 times and vapes primarily at night.

Final Thoughts

Obviously not everybody is going to fall into what our results have determined as the “average” routine for a normal vaporizer user. Everybody has their own preferences, routines and rituals, but where there are differences, there is always common ground as well.

The act of vaporizing is still in its infancy and it will take some time before we can see how these trends and routines develop further. Perhaps as the popularity of vaporizers grow we will see more demand for vapor-centric accessories, like the Iceborn, that people will begin incorporate into their daily vaping routines.

Or perhaps vaporizer manufacturers will use these trends to develop products that cater more to the general masses, rather than developing units with a niche feature like Bluetooth integration, which we covered in another article on our blog.

Looking forward, we are excited to see how the industry is going to change and how people’s routines will vary with the coining of new techniques or the invention of new technology.

So do you find yourself in-line with our profile of the average vaporizer user or do you have your own unique routine when it comes to your vaporizer? We would love to hear your thoughts in our comments section!

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13 Comments

  1. Wish I knew these people throwing out their ABV… I’d take it off their hands! Otherwise I’m a good fit to the “norm”, minus the vaping hand… I’m right-handed, so I vape with my left to leave my dominant hand free!

  2. Interesting results, I was pretty much with the majority in all questions, although I do combust socially or if the battery is dead!

  3. Wow surprised the cooling accessory user data was so low. If my iceborn is in the dishwasher or I have forgotten to refill it after cleaning, a lightly packed inside with snow has been working surprisingly well…

  4. Karen Ramsay on

    I had absolutely no idea there were still oils left in the abv herb – I would totally be saving it (and will be from now on).
    Very interesting results – I thought I was a little odd as I don’t smoke. Turns out I’m not as different from anyone else on here.
    Being average is quite comforting :-)

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