- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2016

Political demographics are ever-expanding. Those who favor electronic cigarettes lean Democratic, according to V2, which sells the devices and commissioned a study of 600 adult “vapers” to determine their political affiliations. The findings: 38 percent are Democrats, followed by independents (27 percent), Republicans (24 percent), Libertarians (6 percent) and Greens (5 percent).

“Similar to our data, previous research has found that most smokers are Democrats,” says Adam Kustin, a spokesman for the company. “It only makes sense that the political group most likely to smoke is also the most likely to vape.”

The support is somewhat of a political patchwork. Democrat Hillary Clinton won 31 percent of the vapers’ vote, followed by Donald Trump (23 percent) and Sen. Bernard Sanders (22 percent), while Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich garnered 12 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Mr. Trump does have an edge in the policy department.

When asked which of the five remaining major presidential candidates would be most supportive of vaping, 36 percent picked Mr. Trump, followed by Mrs. Clinton (28 percent), Mr. Sanders (18 percent), Mr. Cruz (12 percent), and Mr. Kasich (6 percent).

“Trump is in favor of fewer government regulations in most areas and vapers are worried about e-cigarette regulations,” Mr. Kustin said. “This might explain his support. Trump is also backed by Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican known as the ‘vaping congressman,’ which is a key endorsement in the e-cig community.”

Mr. Duncan made his support known in an op-ed titled “Don’t Stifle Vaping” for The Hill four months ago. He wrote: “Yes, I vape. On occasion, I might even smoke a real cigarette. Through my military career, including three combat tours, I even experienced chewing tobacco.”

Find his complete editorial here.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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