As I listened to the podcast It’s A Teenage Vape Land, posted on 680 News (it’s here if you wanna know exactly what I’m talking about), I attempted to have an open mind in listening. They talked a lot about marketing extremes, the rise of teen vaping in elementary and high schools, health factors, and even the extremes schools are going to in order to deter kids from smoking. Now, I have already addressed the issue of teen vaping, but this one is going to be a little bit more serious, and definitely more in depth.
Primarily, I want to address the main cause of concern that people seem to always forget about. The biggest issue with teen vaping is that we obviously don’t want our youth to be addicted to nicotine, which they are absolutely doing in vaping. In this sense all of these news articles are correct; teen vaping needs to stop. However, what they always fail to mention is that teen cigarette smoking has gone down drastically. Over the last few years, teens have absolutely been flocking to vaping as the newest ‘fad’, and also as technology advances we have to expect that our youngest generation will want to include themselves in the newest technological advancement of cigarettes. That being said, teen and adult smoking has seriously declined, which is backed up by studies, and a fact that almost everyone talking about teen vaping as an epidemic seems to conveniently ignore. Another interesting study published by Time Magazine suggests that fewer teens than ever are drinking as well as smoking cigarettes. This is crucial to the conversation, and cannot be willingly ignored.
Marketing extremes are an entirely new conversation. They mentioned in the podcast that it is proven that some major vape companies, while claiming they are making sales for the benefit of adults quitting smoking, are literally going onto college campuses and marketing their product. These kind of marketing exploits, along with those giant gross signs you see in convenience store windows, make it incredibly easy and accessible for teenagers to get their hands on. Carly Weeks, the health reporter in the podcast, mentioned that JUUL is like the new iPhone. I agree with her wholeheartedly, and I think their tools for marketing, their readiness to go into any available store that is willing to sell their product, and their affiliation with an actual tobacco company is appalling and dangerous, especially if they’re going around making claims that they have nothing to do with the tobacco industry, or the teen vaping industry, and they’re exclusively made for helping adults quit smoking. Not to mention JUUL is a closed pod system, which I would argue rarely helps people actually quit smoking, and then lower their nicotine count enough to stop vaping as well. If you want to know about the difference between open and closed pod systems, check out this blog.
Vaping has been proven to be 95% healthier than smoking cigarettes. In terms of the real adults and real cases we see in the shop every single day, it is proof enough for us that we are actually helping people, with the idea to eventually get them off vaping as well.
My ultimate conclusion is that the only way to accurately and effectively combat teen vaping is to reduce the sales of vapes and vape products to specialty vape shops, instead of allowing the sales to continue in places like convenience stores and gas stations. Marketing should be exclusively allowed online, and there should never be signs posted in the windows of shops displaying their brand new line of JUUL pods.
Thanks for reading, as always, leave a comment if you agree or disagree!