A Peek Inside the Vaping Industry
Interview with Aaron Nicholas, Manager of Hollywood Smokin'
December 12, 2016
In the society that we live in today, it is rare that you will ever find anybody without access to some form of media, especially adolescents. While this availability of information can be helpful in certain cases, it also increases the exposure to dangerous trends and crazes. Some of those trends are healthy, but one concerning trend has recently been gaining popularity: vaping.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 3.7 percent of Americans adults use electronic cigarette or vape products on a regular basis. Out of that percentage, some users take to social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to create videos. A single search of the word “vaping” on YouTube reveals a plethora of videos on a wide range of topics, including “how to vape,” “vape tricks” and “trying random vape juices.” The public nature of these videos makes the usage of vapor products appear more culturally acceptable, potentially encouraging others to try vaping.
Teenagers are always under the scrutiny of their peers, and are more inclined to try something if they view friends having fun with the action. Peer pressure is a constant factor in adolescent culture. All it takes is one ten-second Snapchat from a classmate at a party smoking a vape at a party to encourage someone to purchase a vapor product without knowing the side effects.
On a larger scale, with celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Katherine Heigl and Katy Perry flaunting their own vapor products, it is very easy for teens to get caught up in the trend. DiCaprio showed off his vape pen at the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards Ceremony, while Perry reportedly shared a vape with Orlando Bloom at the 2016 Golden Globes. By bringing vape pens to such public venues, often publicized to thousands of viewers, celebrities are simply helping the vape culture to grow.
This exposure becomes dangerous when teens are not educated about vape products. After just a short video, one may be inspired to sample a vape pen, which could potentially turn into an addiction.
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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly six percent of high school seniors smoke cigarettes and 4.7 million middle and high schoolers smoke cigarettes nationwide. While these are large numbers, the number of people who smoke in the United States is currently decreasing. At the last count, about four percent less Americans smoke now than they did ten years ago. These are great statistics, and while many people probably are giving up smoking anything completely, others have found a replacement: vaping.
Initially, many people turned to e-cigarettes to help cut their smoking addiction. E-cigs also have nicotine in them, along with the look and feel of actual cigarettes. According to a study by the British government in 2015, e-cigs are 95 percent safer than smoking. In addition, instead of producing secondhand smoke, they produce vapor. E-cig sales spiked in the early 2010s and e-cig companies turned into multi-billion dollar corporations.
E-cigs can be disposable or rechargeable and thus come with batteries. One can vape with an e-cig, which is oftentimes cheaper than a vaporizer or vapor e-cigarette. An e-cig has no buttons, has different flavors from which to chose, and allows users to choose the amount of nicotine in the e-cig. A vaporizer, on the other hand, is much more customizable than an e-cig, offering greater diversity of cartomizers and e-liquids. They often have longer battery lives and the hit given to the chest and throat is often stronger than that from an e-cig. Both of these options contain nicotine, which is quintessential when it comes to helping a person quit smoking.
Stopping a smoking habit cold turkey is dangerous, so various methods have been created to help. Nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, and to cut the addition, it is necessary to wean the person off of nicotine. This can be accomplished by nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc. Vaping – which has the same look and feel as a cigarette without some of the many health issues and complications – can also be used for this purpose. This is what has helped popularize it: it is so similar to smoking but without many of the negative effects such as the scent, the proclivity for certain diseases, and secondhand smoke.
Although vaping is considered healthier than smoking, it only started being regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in August of 2016. These regulations do not cover all of the hundreds of options of flavors and brands out there for e-cigs and vaporizers. The health risks of vaping are not entirely known.
Vaping is considered healthier than cigarettes, which is why many are making the switch. The number of those who vape continues to rise, while the number of those who smoke continues to fall.