The CDC released a new report showing that less teenagers than ever are smoking cigarettes, while the the number of teenagers using e-cigarettes has tripled in the last year. The fact that vaping amongst kids has risen while cigarette use has declined is certainly a good sign. Obviously kids shouldn’t be using nicotine or any other kind of drug, but let’s face it: high school kids have been smoking, drinking and doing drugs since the dawn of time and they’ll continue to find a way to do it no matter what restrictions are in place. Since they’re going to find some kind of substance to do anyway, it might as well be nicotine e-juice, which is significantly safer than smoking.
But why are kids vaping so much these days?
Kids like to be rebellious
As I mentioned before, kids will always want to drink, smoke, and do drugs to rebel against their adult authority figures. If it’s seen as “wrong” by grownups, you can be sure that high school kids will find a way to do it.
Kids also like to fit in
This might seem contradictory, but they are completely obsessed with fitting in with their peers at school. Vaping is currently considered to be the cool, hip thing to do. This combination of coolness and rebelliousness makes vaping irresistible to kids.
It fits in with the materialistic nature of our society
While old fashioned cigarettes all look alike and are designed to be disposable, mod vaporizers are a high-end consumer product that fits in perfectly with the materialism that is popular in our society today. Back in my day the cool kids in school would be drawing the Guns ‘n Roses logo on their notebooks and would spend all of their money on new CDs at the music store, now the cool kids are more likely to draw the Apple or Starbucks logo instead and spend all of their money on a new cell phone.
With some mods costing hundreds of dollars, and the trend-driven nature of the vaping industry ensuring that any vape you buy will only be the latest and greatest for a couple months at the most, vaporizers have turned into the newest shallow status symbol. Just like having the latest iPhone. This obviously appeals to kids.
So how can we stop kids from vaping?
We can’t. And that’s a good thing. Obviously any retailer that knowingly sells to minors is a scumbag, and there should be laws that ban the sale of vapes to minors, and 42 states already have such laws on the books. But if vaping is helping teenagers quit smoking, or preventing others from starting, then in my opinion it’s a good thing. Too bad the anti-vapers will use this report to justify even more strict regulations on vaping instead of seeing the good news in this report. As we all know, more misguided restrictions on vaping will lead to more people smoking, including teenagers.