Teens Turn From Cigarettes to Vaping in Record Numbers

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Teenager VapingA recent report from the CDC shows that teenagers in the US are switching from smoking tobacco cigarettes to vaping, and doing so in record fashion. 2014 marked the first time in history that e-cigarette use surpassed the use of traditional cigarettes among middle school and high school teenagers. The number of teens vaping in the US nearly tripled un the past year, rocketing from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014.

This increase is equivalent to an extra 1.34 million students smoking e-cigarettes in the past year, while cigarette usage is on the decline amongst teenagers, down to 9.2 percent in 2014. There has not been an overall decline in teenage tobacco usage over the past three years, with usage of all forms of tobacco products totaling nearly a quarter of all high school students, and holding steadily around 8 percent of middle school students. It is simply a shifting trend of product usage, with more students choosing to vape rather than smoke traditional cigarettes.

Any form of nicotine intake is dangerous and unhealthy for young students in their formative years. But the fact remains that teenagers will always find access to tobacco products, despite many efforts taken by the government to try and deter teenagers from smoking. Let’s examine a few of the motives that might be causing the recent surge in vaping amongst middle school and high school students:

Rebellion

It is part of teenagers’ nature to want to rebel against parental and authoritative figures in their lives. One of the best ways to do this is by smoking and drinking, since it is widely preached against from an early age.

Fitting In

Teenagers are obsessed with seeming “cool” in middle and high school. Because of this, many teens mirror their behavior after the rebellious, cool kids who are smoking. Since vaping is the new, cool thing to do, teens are more apt to want to vape than smoke traditional cigarettes.

Craving Materialistic Culture

Just like the most recent technology that teens feel they “have to have,” e-cigarettes are constantly upgrading and evolving, making teens think they need the latest most stylish e-cig. It becomes a status symbol to have the newest edition in vaping.

It is apparent that teen smoking will never be eradicated from American culture. It is also apparent that traditional cigarettes amongst teens are on the way out, which could lead to the eventual destruction of traditional tobacco products, as the younger generation ages and becomes the largest consumer of tobacco products.

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  • Ali Esmaili
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