Over the past few years, vaping has become increasingly popular among youths. While there are various reasons why young people are drawn to vaping, this article will examine the factors that make vaping more prevalent among youths.
Lower Cost of Vaping
One of the primary reasons why vaping has become more prevalent among youths is due to its relatively lower cost compared to traditional cigarettes. Vaping costs about half of what one would spend on traditional cigarettes, according to those interviewed.
For instance, a 25-year-old vaper mentioned that he spends about S$10 for a box of three pods of vaping liquid, and in an average month, he uses three boxes or nine pods, spending about S$30. However, had he smoked traditional cigarettes, he estimated that he would have spent the same amount in about half the time. He would have used about two cigarette packs in two weeks, spending about S$15 per pack.
Vaping products were expensive and hard to come by when he started vaping seven years ago, with one box of three pods costing as much as S$30. However, the price has since gone down threefold due to the inflow of vape products from overseas.
Normalization of Vaping
The normalization of vaping is another reason why it has become more prevalent among youths. Most of the vapers interviewed estimated that about seven to eight out of 10 of their friends also vape, which has normalized the habit for them.
Vaping has become so commonplace that even people who have never smoked cigarettes before are starting to vape. The most common occasion to vape is during drinking sessions, even in public bars and clubs, as well as when they are hanging out at one another’s homes.
Attractive Marketing of Vaping Products
The attractive marketing of vaping products is also drawing young people to the habit. Vaping products are designed and packaged specifically with youths in mind, making them appealing to this demographic.
Influencers on social media platforms like TikTok have gained popularity by performing “tricks” with the vapour they exhale from vaping, such as forming shapes and patterns with them. This trend is also contributing to the increased prevalence of vaping among youths.
Vapes are perceived to be less harmful and less addictive than other habits that a young person can experiment with when approaching adulthood. They are marketed with many enticing flavors and sleek pen designs that present the young user with a cool, trendy image. Vaping is accessible 24/7 and concealable due to its smokeless, mildly odourless quality, feeding our constant need for a dopamine hit.
In conclusion, vaping has become more prevalent among youths due to its lower cost, normalization, and attractive marketing. Parents and educators need to be aware of these factors and take steps to educate young people about the risks associated with vaping.
Q: Is vaping less harmful than smoking? A: While vaping is less harmful than smoking, it is still harmful to one's health. It can cause lung damage and increase the risk of addiction to nicotine.
Q: Can vaping help people quit smoking? A: While some people have used vaping as a tool to quit smoking, it is not recommended by health experts. There are other, more effective methods to quit smoking that do not involve vaping.
Q: What are the risks associated with vaping? A: The risks associated with vaping include lung damage, addiction to nicotine, and exposure to harmful chemicals.
Q: Is vaping legal for youths? A: No, vaping is not legal for youths. The legal age for vaping in many countries, including Singapore, is 21 years old.
Q: Can secondhand vaping harm non-vapers? A: Yes, secondhand vaping can harm non-vapers. The aerosol emitted from vaping can contain harmful chemicals that can be inhaled by those nearby, potentially causing health problems.
How to Prevent Youths from Vaping?
Preventing youths from vaping requires a multifaceted approach. Educators, parents, and health experts can work together to educate young people about the risks associated with vaping and provide them with the tools they need to resist peer pressure.
Some ways to prevent youths from vaping include:
- Educating young people about the risks associated with vaping
- Encouraging young people to find healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Encouraging parents and caregivers to model healthy behaviors
- Advocating for policies that restrict access to vaping products
- Providing resources and support for those who want to quit vaping or smoking