Use of Electronic Cigarettes by Teenager

Teenage smoking has been one of the major concerns of parents since the late 1990s. With time, parents have more to worry; tobacco is available for teenagers through hookahs, flavoured cigarettes, cloved cigarettes and many other forms apart from the conventional ones. Amidst all the tobacco featuring cigarettes what might seem as a safer option is the use of Electronic cigarettes.

E cigarettes set apart due to the fact that there is no tobacco smoke in it, instead liquid nicotine is inhaled in the form of odorless mist. It is a battery operated device that looks like a conventional cigarette and gives the same feel to the smoker. The cost of e-cigarettes is slightly higher than conventional ones. It comes in various designs and shapes. The battery is changeable or re-chargeable, along with the cartridge that can be changed overtime.

Teenagers are quite attracted and influenced by the targeted marketing strategies of e-cigarette manufacturers, hence, resulting in increasing sales and popularity of the product. According to studies, teenagers usually end up adopting e-cigarettes due to the following reasons:

1)      Peer Pressure

Teenage comes with the pressure of associating oneself with a particular group of people. To be part of that group, many teenagers get used to e-cigarettes and other forms of smoking.

2)      Self-Image

Some teenagers feel the need to create a self-image and use e-cigarettes as a tool. According to their perception, teenagers feel more confident and ‘cool’ while smoking e-cigarettes.

3)      Enjoyment

For many teenagers, e-cigarettes are just a form of enjoyment. The adrenaline rush that such teenagers get from doing what’s generally not allowed is adventurous and fun.

4)      Imitating Adults/ Parents

Imitation is also one of the many reasons behind teenage use of e-cigarettes. Teenagers maybe imitating their parents, any adult that they admire or simply the celebrities that teenagers love to follow.

The grey area left by inadequate research to give evidence related to health and safety concerns of e cigarette users is still a minus for it.

However, the plus of e cigarettes is it does not have tobacco which confirms the avoidance of major health issues such as addiction, withdrawal, cancer, infertility, asthma, bad breath etc. Parents should feel a little easy that their children are safe from the above health issues with e cigarettes.

As many states have different laws and rules for teenage smoking and purchasing of cigarettes, this can be regulated and controlled as well. For instance, Health Canada has been practising the rule of selling only nicotine free electronic cigarettes to teenagers and banned sales of nicotine version.

Apart from the State rules and regulations, parents must ensure early counselling of teenagers and communicate more openly with them. As teenagers are vulnerable at that stage and are bound to fall for more dangerous tobacco and drug use, parents must openly share and talk about the health and safety hazards with them.

Studies also suggest that many people who wish to quit smoking opt for electronic cigarettes as it cuts down tobacco usage instantly and also caters to their urge of smoking. Teenagers enjoy the experience of smoking yet stay safe from its adverse effects through e-cigarettes.

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