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Are vapes being targeted to young children?

Posted: 16th November 2023

student vaping

Everyone is under the impression that smoking e-cigarettes is much safer than smoking cigarettes. Whilst this may be true, E-cigarettes still enormously affect health, particularly for those that are under age. 

The vaping market has targeted young children and used their innocence to gradually manipulate them, eventually getting them addicted to these harmful and health altering lifestyles. From exotic flavourings, colourful packaging  and appealing names, vaping has rapidly become one of the most domineering and significant issues that must be overcome. New figures from the NHS digital state that, “9% of 11-15 year olds in England smoke E-Cigarettes” this is around 306,000 kids in England alone.

A recent article published on the 12th of October depicts the severity of this issue. Sarah’s story… 

A 12-year old, Sarah, is admitted to the hospital as a consequence of 3 years of vaping; she is currently recovering, however, she has been left with permanent lung damage. Her addiction was one that is difficult for a 12-year old to comprehend and understand and this addiction was not entirely her fault…

Although selling vapes to under 18s is an illegal activity, Sarah was able to easily access and purchase these vapes over the counter and became addicted to the toxic substance, nicotine. The unhealthy obsession of vaping invaded her life as she was stuck in this painful repetitive cycle which she was unable to escape. It is a must that the penalty to serving underage kids becomes more severe as by serving these poisonous and noxious items, it could potentially completely ruin a child’s future. 

“Don’t start doing it, because once you start doing it, you don’t stop doing it” she says

Sarah’s addiction has not only affected her but the people around her that care about her. Despite her mother’s attempts to stop her, nothing worked; Her mother, Mary, having felt that she lost all control, was bound to feel helpless which may have had a major impact on her mental health. She felt as if she lost the maternal battle and felt as if she failed her child.

“There is absolutely no words to describe when you think your child is going to die.”

Right now it may seem normal even routined to vape. But there are hundreds and thousands of Sarah’s that regret this decision and it may haunt you for the rest of your life. Growing up in a generation where this habit is normalised is a saddening experience and I believe that there isn’t merely enough awareness for this issue. Instead of forcing adolescents out of this habit, I believe it is more important to educate, understand and provide as much support as they require. 

By Dhruti Shah, student

Photo credited to Nery Zarate