One of the worst prejudices against e-cigarettes, which critics keep bringing up, is that vaping would appeal to children and young people and thus gradually prepare them for smoking. They claim that vaping makes you look extra cool and acts as a gateway drug for young people. Some studies from the UK have turned to this issue to settle once and for all whether the criticism is justified or not. Of course, as a vaper, you quickly reach a point where you are forced to defend your lifestyle. You may even be cornered so much that you withdraw from the public eye to avoid the argument. If you don’t do it, you may quickly find yourself in a conflict. Parents approach you publicly, make a scene and accuse you of setting a bad example. Especially when you see the packet of cigarettes shining through in the pockets of the critics, the whole accusation becomes very hypocritical. Here are the latest study results to help you come up with some powerful arguments to defend the e-cigarette’s reputation.
Where Does This Charge Come From?
Even though the number of smokers has fallen noticeably in recent decades, there are still many smokers all over the world. Nicotine consumption is particularly critical for those who start smoking at a young age because they will have greater difficulty stopping this bad habit later on. More militant non-smokers, in particular, have achieved a lot to further reduce the appeal to children and previous non-smokers. There are warnings about the health risks on every pack of cigarettes and in every print advertisement for cigarette manufacturers. Actual pictures are even printed on the packaging, which bears witness to illnesses that can arise from smoking. Smoking is also prohibited in many public places. But even with so much being done to tarnish smoking’s reputation, thousands of people start smoking yearly. Many of you are still minors. This frustrates many, and we, as former smokers who have made the distance, are annoyed about it. However, the fact that e-cigarettes are seen more frequently in public is a simple justification by many angry people who express reproaches. But does the e-cigarette work as an incentive to get the youth to smoke?
This Is Harmful: Public Cigarette Advertising
The University of Cambridge conducted the first study we want to discuss here. The impact of marketing techniques on children and young people between the ages of eleven and sixteen was examined. In the study, the children were shown two advertisements. One advertised the cigarette with candy and flavourings, and the second with no additives. Since e-cigarettes, in particular, are a risk for children due to their flavourings, many conclusions can be drawn from this. However, the study clearly showed that although the children reacted much more positively to the advertising with the sweets, these children as a whole did not show any increased interest in cigarette consumption. However, the logical conclusion from this study is not that e-cigarettes are a risk for children but that public advertising should be restricted.
How do young people react to e-cigarettes?
The second British study we would like to present focused directly on the e-cigarette. The focus here was not on very young children but on older young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who were no longer going to school. Their awareness, their own experiences and attitudes towards e-cigarettes were examined. One statement from the study, in particular, is very meaningful for the previously expressed criticism of e-cigarettes: “The majority of young people in this study who vape regularly stated that they either stopped smoking or significantly reduced it. Vapers have indicated that they have smoked less since using e-cigarettes and have even seen a subjective improvement in their health. The conclusion drawn across all study participants was that after the first use of the e-cigarette, the probability of actually starting to smoke was reduced rather than increased. After all, the comparatively unpleasant taste and the significantly higher costs would have a deterrent effect in addition to the knowledge of the health risk of conventional cigarettes.
The conclusion of the studies
Both recent studies clearly show that critics’ criticisms don’t have the science to back them up. What’s more, it turned out that the real danger to children and young people is misplaced advertising aimed directly at them. Contrary to the assumption that the e-cigarette could act as a gateway drug and tempt young people to smoke, the exact opposite was found. Many younger people benefit from the effects of the e-cigarette, as it has helped them significantly reduce their tobacco consumption and thus already feel the first improvements in their health. The risk of becoming a smoker is drastically reduced for those who have tried an e-cigarette. There’s no denying that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to health than the tobacco variety, and you can feel that here too. Above all, the price, the knowledge of the risk and the unpleasant taste deter children and young people. Instead, what should be viewed far more critically are public advertisements that create a more positive or perhaps even child-friendly image of smoking.
Based on these studies, it is clear that vaping does not tempt children and young people to smoke. Instead, as a vaper, you not only contribute to your health but also set a good example. The real danger lies in secondhand smoke, which many children are exposed to just when their parents are smoking. For this very reason, more and more people should think about switching to e-cigarettes, which also stop the development of passive smoking. If you have any questions about vaping, please use our contact options.
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