It’s no mystery that the popularity of vaping is on an upward trend and continues to grow. However, the extreme rise in its popularity among generation Z has alarmed schools, parents, and the FDA. Based on various researches, it was found that rebellion among generation Z is experiencing a downward trend. For example, from a percentage of 46% of teenagers who had been drunk in the 1990s, 2017 reported a percentage of 26%. However, this trend does not translate into vaping.
According to various reports, the percentage of teenagers who consumed nicotine in the previous year increased to 8% eighth-graders, 16% sophomores, and 19% high school seniors. The initial intention behind e-cigarettes was to aid those who wish to quit smoking. However, the consequences have taken the opposite turn within generation Z.
E-cigarettes and vape pens have made a major impact on the younger generation. Contrary to their initial positioning as a medium that helps quit smoking, it has become why numerous teenagers are introduced to tobacco.
In simple terms, vaping has become the transition to smoking for these teenagers rather than becoming the transition to quitting it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, cigarette usage among high schoolers has raised from 7.6% in 2016 to 8.1% this year.
Reasons for the popularity of vaping
Upon reading the statistics, the pressing question is: why is vaping becoming so increasingly popular among this generation? Some reasons why e-cigarette usage is at an all-time high among teenagers may include:
It is pretty clear that teenagers are easily influenced, and their main source of influence includes their family and friends. Since vaping has become immensely commonplace among former smokers or existing smokers, numerous adults have developed this habit.
Therefore, its commonality ensures that teenagers are unlikely to go a single day without spotting someone close to them smoking away vapors from their handy e-cigarette device. When a new, seemingly cool activity surrounds teenagers, they will naturally feel the urge to participate.
Since social approval is one of the main priorities for generation Z, they wish to participate in activities that make them appear interesting. The activity itself has been glamourized due to its excessive use and its sleek-looking style. Therefore, generation Z jumps onto the bandwagon to attract attention and approval from their social circle.
Other sources of influence include celebrities. Spotting a particular celebrity engaging in the activity urges the younger generation to get involved to appear as cool as the celebrity does. For example, in “Fight Club,” Tyler Durden is seen as a tough, cool-looking guy who will largely appeal to an aspiring teenager.
It’s easy to hide
As teenagers, engaging in any rebellious activities that your parents or teachers may potentially condemn comes with risks. The main risk revolves around the potential of getting caught. Vape flavors do not leave behind the foul odor of processed tobacco. A range of flavors is available for vape pens and e-cigarettes, including cotton candy, strawberry, and watermelon. Some of these flavors are also mixtures with others to enhance the flavor, such as blue raspberry lemonade or kiwi-strawberry.
The names of these flavors are incredibly appealing, and their smell automatically becomes a source of attraction for these e-cigarettes. Additionally, teenagers prefer to use these vape pens. After all, they are much easier to hide than traditional cigarettes because they don’t leave behind residue in ashes or cigarette buds.
All these factors make it easier for teenagers to smoke vape pens in their rooms without their parents finding out. The smell of cigarettes is easily recognizable by adults because of its distinct and strong smell. Moreover, the smell of cigarette smoke tends to stick to the person’s hair and clothes for a while instead of vape pens that emit a pleasant and fruity smell.
Cost of the e-cigarettes
An additional attractive factor in e-cigarettes is that they are much cheaper than traditional cigarettes. Due to regulations, the government continues to impose higher prices on tobacco products. On the other hand, vapes are long-lasting and much cheaper than cigarettes. Therefore, these are a much better fit for the limited budget of a teenager.
One of the most popular vapes is the disposable vape which does not require vape liquids or charging. These can be disposed of after a certain number of puffs within the vape pen are finished. Disposable vape pens are ideal for hiding proof of smoking as you can easily get rid of them. The usage is simple because all you need to do is purchase them, remove the plastic tip, and proceed to smoke them.
Conclusion: vaping is glamourized among the generation Z
It is clear from the statistics that teenagers or young adults glamourize the activity of vaping due to various factors such as inspiration and influence from friends, family, and celebrities. Moreover, the ease of use and the opportunity to conveniently hide e-cigarettes from their parents are added incentives to continue their usage. All these factors collectively contribute to the increasing popularity of vaping as an activity.
However, we can’t ignore the health implications of vaping. While it is considered less harmful than traditional cigarettes, it is integral to keep young people away from their usage because nicotine use at a young age can cause brain development to slow down.