WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

New study identifies the secret shopping habits of vapers

According to Forbes Magazine, vapers spend about $3.7 billion on technology and products each and every year.  Less than ten years ago, the vaping industry was basically non-existent.  That’s a huge chuck of potential new revenues that many business owners want to tap into.  A curious new study posted on the website Convenience Store Decisions (CSD) tries to uncover the secret spending habits of e-cig users, and the results are rather interesting.

Most veteran vapers would never be caught dead buying their vape mods and wicking materials at the local 7-11, but when pressed, many of them would also secretly admit to at least one such purchase in the past.  After all, many former smokers first learned of vaping by purchasing one of those cheap, over-the-counter Blu e-cigs or a similar alternative.  Why spend $50-$100 on a vape mod before even knowing if you like the taste?  

The secret shopping habits of vapers

The CSD study is not ground-breaking by any means.  It is really more of a survey than a scientific research project, but the results show some rather fun statistics.  CSD surveyed 300 adult vapers in the United States, and this is what they found.

When asked to name the product last purchased from any source, either “brick and mortar” or an online retailer:

    • 71% bought batteries.
    • 59% bought e-liquid.
    • 54% bought e-liquid cartridges.
    • 49% bought a tank.
    • 48% bought a replacement charger.
    • 31% bought e-cig cases.
    • 28% bought vape mods.
    • 27% bought drip tips.

 When asked where they purchased their last product:

    • 37% said tobacco or smoke shop.
    • 27% said a dedicated vape shop.
    • 26% said an online retailer.
    • 8% said a local convenience store.
    • 2% said the local grocery store.

Furthermore, nearly 50% of those surveyed said that they rarely find what they need in a local convenience store.


When people talk about “research studies,” it is usually an important factor to consider the group or organization funding it.  In the case of the CSD example, the V2 brand of electronic cigarette was spending the loot.  Consequently, V2 is owned by the National Tobacco Company, distributor of Zig-Zag chewing tobacco and other related products.

“This is clearly still an untapped market for retailers – especially c-store (convenience store) retailers – as most aftermarket products are sold in smoke or vape shops,” added Blair. “These retailers are taking advantage of the opportunity, with more than 8,500 vape shops, for instance, having been created since 2008. Savvy c-store retailers should see this growth as a sign of the revenue and market potential.”

       - Michelle Blair, Vice President of Sales, V2

While the results of the CSD survey are fun to read, it is also important to note that Ms. Blair essentially works for Big Tobacco. And unlike many small business owners of vape shops across the U.S.A., she is also seeming unafraid of any possible negative consequences resulting from the FDA deeming regulations.  Still, it makes us wonder.  Will convenience stores really become the “new normal” for buying e-cigs and vaping products post-2018? 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published