An Underestimated Concern of E-cigarettes

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An Underestimated Concern of E-cigarettes? 

The concept of electronic cigarettes is no longer new, we are used to seeing people smoking them and smelling the strong familiar odour of the many flavours that are available when passing by. It was roughly two years ago when I began my Youth and Community work degree that E-cigarettes were becoming popular, the accepted transition from the use of regular cigarettes for those that wanted to work towards the cessation of smoking.

To me, it seems that little is said about e-cigarettes lately adding further weight towards the acceptance of such a gadget seemingly in my opinion, another fashion statement alongside the mobile phone.

Advertised to encourage smokers

However, if I had not ventured into the world of youth work I would not have had the opportunity to make enquiries spurred on by my general interest as I steadily witnessed a rise in young people proudly displaying their e-cigarette, dangling on a chain around their neck.

My curiosity heightened one evening when I was talking with a small group of young people in the youth centre, I noticed that they were all carrying an e-cigarette, I asked how many of them had smoked prior to owning one. Surprisingly 90% of the group admitted that they hadn’t smoked naturally I asked why they had started, the response was that they thought it looked good.

Has This Become A fashion

This aroused my interest and concerns over the fact that the e-cigarette is being advertised to encourage smokers to move closer towards their goal of giving up and yet, silently some young people were buying them to use as a fashion statement.

It is ironic when comparing youths years ago who began smoking to look good now, e-cigarettes seem to have taken this mantle. This probably raises further questions in addition to the safety of the chemicals that are being used to create the vapour. A couple of questions stand out and worthy of discussing:

  • Has the introduction of e-cigarettes created a new fashion wave amongst young people? 
  • When delivering drug awareness courses, should e-cigarettes be included in this? 

Maybe other people who work with young people have had similar experiences that they would like to share or, alternatively have had a different experience with young people surrounding e-cigarettes. It would be interested to find out how far this fashion statement extends?

A report by Public health England

Explores the impact of e-cigarettes amongst young people and the wider context, however, no extensive research has been conducted to identify trends concerning the impact it has had on young people.

At the beginning of the report, it explains that the harmful chemicals have been removed from e-cigarettes, reducing health risks but nicotine still remains, the addictive substance causing the cravings.

By Martin Andrew

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