Vaping has taken Great Britain’s Generation Z by storm, with recent statistics from ASH revealing a 50% increase in young vapers —equivalent to one in nine children addicted to it. In the blink of an eye, a puff of vapour and a generation’s health are at stake.
So, when did vaping become so popular among youngsters, and what would be the outcome of these hiked percentages? Is the government planning to limit the habit? How can we, as general people, take action against this hazardous vapour?
If these questions are circulating in your mind, let’s dive into the world of vaping featuring Gen Z and find the answers!
The Rise of Vaping Among Gen Z
So, why are more and more young people from Generation Z embracing vaping? It’s a multi-faceted trend. Firstly, many of them take their first puff out of sheer curiosity, wanting to experience what all the fuss is about, especially when it seems like everyone’s doing it. Social media also plays a role in making vaping seem like the cool thing to do.
Secondly, the delightful range of flavours has hooked the attention of 21% of the youngsters. Some vapes don’t even contain nicotine, offering a fruity and sweet escape. In addition, proclaimed “best vape brands“ also play their part by reaching out to youth through appealing advertisements.
Lastly, a significant number of young people believe that traditional smoking is more harmful to health. As a result, they see vaping as a safer alternative, which has contributed to its increasing popularity.
Concerning Health Implications
While vaping has become insanely popular among Gen Z, so have the health issues. Further, E-cigarettes have not only caused addiction but also impacted children’s health. Renowned children’s health experts see it as the beginning towards a deadly outcome: smoking. That said, we’ve listed a few concerning health hazards that have made their way to headlines;
- Chronic cough
- Impaired respiratory health, lung function, and tissue inflammation.
- Weakened immunity and nicotine addiction
- Development of “e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury” (EVALI)
Government Regulations & Responses
Per the introduced Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) by the UK, the government implemented a few policies such as;
- No sales to children under 18.
- Restricted certain e-liquid ingredients for safety and quality.
- Nicotine strength limit to 20 mg/ml.
- Clear, child-resistant, and informative packaging.
- Restrictions on certain forms of marketing, especially appealing to youth.
However, considering the recent rise in the statistics and popularity of vaping among youth, the UK government has prioritised the age-limit policy for both buyers and sellers. Besides this, the government is working on its mission to become smoke-free by 2030, limiting vaping devices to only avid smokers.
Lastly, they’ve collaborated with departments like Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and the National Health Service to publish evidence-based information regarding the harms of vaping among Gen Z.
Solutions & Support
While the government is working to implement the above-discussed policies, here’s what we can do to prevent young people from indulging in vaping;
- Social Awareness & Education
It’s essential to provide extensive education and raise awareness among young individuals about the risks and consequences of vaping.
- Safe Environment
Adolescents often make impulsive decisions. We must create a safe, positive, and non-judgmental environment for them to discuss their problems with us.
- Regulation & Legislation
Advocating for stronger regulations and policies to restrict the sale and marketing of vaping products to minors can be highly effective.
- School Initiatives
Anti-vaping programs in schools and creating environments that discourage vaping are essential. Joining relevant support groups can also be a great initiative.
- Peer Pressure & Digital Literacy
Teaching young people how to resist peer pressure and make informed choices rather than joining trends they see online is also necessary.
So, have our insights addressed the questions we posed at the beginning? Though, the path to reducing vaping among Generation Z in Great Britain is challenging. Over time, we can make a difference and foster a healthier and safer environment for the younger generation to thrive.