E-cigarettes go by many different names, for example, tank systems, e-cigs, mods, vape pens, vaporizers and vapes. When e-cigarettes first hit the market, they were advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, but is this really the case?
In 2022, we know there are a number of vaping related illnesses and deaths. Although vaping does pose a much smaller threat than smoking cigarettes does, it still has its own issues. Studies have shown that e-cigarettes can cause symptoms such as coughing, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath and weight loss.  

In January of 2022, 15% of 18 year olds surveyed used e-cigarettes, in contrast to 11% January the year before, this was shown in a study by University College London. Progressing from this, according to the Truth Initiative, 15- to 17-year-olds are 16 times more likely to vape than 25- to 34-year-olds. Why is this happening?

Vaping companies are advertising their products towards young people. Many companies now sell ‘fidget spinner vapes’, this specific product is quite obviously designed for teenagers/young adults as few adults would use a toy to quit smoking. Vapes are often shown in glossy displays to gain the appeal of young people, they are designed in bright colours and with sweet child-friendly flavours for example, bubblegum, lemon tart, watermelon and strawberry.

Vaping has also become an online trend. Thousands of videos, each with tens of millions of views, showing vape tricks or people posting videos displaying vaping to be trendy and cool. This causes a chain reaction of teenagers following the trend, without realising the harmful effect it can have on their bodies. People are using social media in order to take advantage of young people trying to fit in by selling them vapes discreetly online. For instance hiding the vapes in boxes of chocolate to throw any parents off the scent.

On social media platforms such as TikTok, some people are doing ‘vape reviews’ ranking the flavour, how long the vape lasts and more, persuading people to buy these vapes, again pressuring young people to buy and use vapes. This can cause addiction which can be hard to combat at such a young age.

The goverment are looking to crackdown on these laws, however unless there is a more reliable way for this to be enforced, shop owners will continue to sell to underage people while addiction levels continue to rise.