Peer Pressure? Or should we say e-cigarette ‘Vaper’ pressure?
One of the biggest concerns stated by naysayers of e-cigarettes is that even non-smokers will be drawn into nicotine addiction by these electronic nicotine devices. Many welfare boards have been vocal and vehement in their statements that susceptible teenagers and children in particular will be tempted into falling into a nicotine habit because of these e-cigarettes.
So how much of a basis do these statements have?
The e-cigarette gadget factor
The e-cigarette device comes packaged in a wide range of attractive shapes and sizes. It is sleek and modern and desirable, colorful and handy. It doesn’t need a lighter, it doesn’t give out smoke. It is, in many accounts, even a trendy little gadget.
So yeah, to a certain degree, its very appearance could act as a temptation to teens and pre-teens in their desire to own it.
Add to that the rebellious factor sought by every high school kid, with their need to be seen as “cool” and “daring”, their wish to step out their comfort zones to do something out-there.
In that case, the e-cigarette becomes the ultimate one-stop shop.
This is an electronic age, after all. Kids and, teenagers in particular, have a veritable arsenal of multiple electronic gadgets, ranging from computers to play-stations to iPods to android phones.
Some e-cigarettes don’t even look all that different from the common music-players. So even if an authority figure were to catch a teenager with it, they might easily overlook it amongst the other paraphernalia carried by the average high school student. This makes it convenient, desirable.
‘Vaper’ pressure, fiction or reality?
And then there are student welfare boards which have issued complaints on the advent of ‘vaper’ pressure faced by teenagers and young adults, where they feel cornered into starting an e-cigarette habit since “everyone else is doing it.”
A vaper is someone who puffs on vaporizers like e-cigs to supplement their nicotine fix, rather than resorting to conventional smoking. And the e-cigarette with its attractive gadget model, and its smoke-less, fire-less nicotine delivery process makes it a very alluring option to the average teen.
Even those who would think twice about smoking a regular cigarette with its tell-tale clouds of smoke, might be tempted to try an e-cigarette because it is so easy to hide.
Not to mention the increase in the number of movie stars and popular celebrities who are seen flaunting their e-cigs and enthusiastically speaking up on their love for this nicotine delivery gadget. This has made the cool factor even higher.
All these could be giving credence to the ‘vaper’ pressure objection that the anti-e-cigarette associations are talking about. And the lack of control and regulation of e-cigarettes in the current market makes it even easier to procure for the younger generation.
Better control may help
While this device involves less nicotine consumption than the regular cigarette, it is still highly harmful. The e-liquid fueling these devices are found to be carcinogenic and even highly toxic, particularly to children on whom it has been found to have drastic effects.
A better regulation on the sale of e-cigarettes and greater/informed vigilance on the side of rule-enforcing figures like teachers and parents can help haze away a nicotine addiction being developed in teens through e-cigarettes.