Vaping is increasing becoming the go-to method for smokers who wish to quit, meaning vapers are becoming more visable around children. Given that electronic cigarettes are designed for adults who wish to quit smoking, it is vital we ensure that these devices stay out of the reach of the young.
According to a recent report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), use of e-cigarettes by middle school kids rose from 2 percent in 2011 to 4 percent. And from 2 percent to 13 percent among high schoolers during the same period.
Similarly a study of E Cig Review Site found that 65% of the UK population believe that vaping around a child could influence them to vaping in the future contrary to the NHS research that has found that most vapers are ex smokers.
Let’s consider three areas where a child could be exposed to Vaping:
1) Vaping in the home.
Good and bad habits start in the home. Parents are a child’s primary role models. If someone in the child’s home vapes, then it will more likely be accepted by the child as normal, and “no big deal.”
2) Vaping at school.
Kids want to be part of a group and will participate in the accepted activity of the group, even when that activity is dangerous.
E-cigarettes are easy to hide and do not give off the strong smell that regular cigarettes do. Teachers and faculty may not be aware if a child is vaping, and will not be able to alert parents.
3) E-cigarette advertising.
In the footsteps of the fast-food, soda, and cigarette industries, e-cigarettes target young people with their advertising. They know that if they hook young people early, they have a chance to create a lifelong user.
Though cigarette commercials on television were banned in 1971, e-cigs have been given a pass, through a range of legal loopholes and are beginning to appear on regular TV. Not to mention online, in magazines, and in movies.
The concern is that kids will see their movie and TV personality idols smoking e-cigs and will want to model their behavior.
There appears to be some evidence that this might be the case. According to a recent study released by the CDC, “There is a link between exposure to e-cigarette advertisements and the use of e-cigarettes by middle and high school student.”
Children are heavily influenced by the behaviors of their parents, their peers, and the media they consume on an almost constant basis. Parents and caregivers of young children need to pay close attention to the behaviors and habits that their young ones are picking up, and stay involved. Talk to them. Answer their questions. And give them the information and support they need to make healthy choices.