The vaping industry has grown at an astonishing rate over the last decade or so as more and more people switch to electronic cigarettes as a healthier alternative to the conventional old school tobacco cigarettes. However there is growing concern that e cigs might actually be having an adverse effect on young people and be encouraging them to smoke, including those who have never smoked a traditional tobacco cigarette.
Various research as to what effect e cigs are having on the young generation has been conducted both over in the United States and right here in the United Kingdom and the analysis and results from these have been contradictory from saying that there is no real evidence that the e-cigs encourage the young to smoke to reporting some alarming findings and increases in under-age usage. Either way, an intense debate has been ignited.
Perhaps most alarming was the news reported by Public Health Wales in June of this year who discovered that girls as young as eleven were able to get their hands on a wide range of vaping devices easily – and not only from shops but also friends and even parents – with most able to name at least five different flavours. Despite this the findings discovered that they were missing a crucial piece of information with several unaware that the e-cigs actually contained nicotine.
There are several reasons that could be argued why e-cigs are encouraging the young to smoke with the most common – just like with traditional tobacco smoking years before – that they want to be part of the ‘in’ crowd. This also goes for CBD oils which have recently hit the UK market too. Findings have discovered that only the older adolescents think of e-cigs as aids to help quit smoking or as healthier alternatives to tobacco – with the younger population seeing them in only a social light alongside the likes of alcohol.
E-cig advertising is becoming more common and aggressive which could be another factor while it is also argued that the types of names given to the many different flavours have been so called to purposefully influence and interest the younger generation. The debate will continue, but a welcome move is the UK government’s intention to implement a mandatory under eighteen-age restriction on the sale of electronic cigarettes.