Smoking – 3800 Kids a Day! Wouldn’t Vaping be Better?
“Each day, 3800 American teens try smoking, and 1000 become hooked to smoking, according to a 2012 Surgeon General’s report. Those who are unable to quit as adults will die, on average, 13 years earlier than their peers.” – Surgeon General Report 2012
The above statement is an astonishing statistic. Three Thousand Eight Hundred teenagers every single day of the year, year after year after year, try smoking cigarettes. And yet, despite these scary numbers, there are people in positions of power that want to ban electronic cigarettes, and if that isn’t possible, then ‘By God, we’ll keep them out of the hands of teenagers!’
Why Don’t These People Think?
I have two grown daughters. My oldest daughter has been smoking for a few years, never very much though, and my youngest daughter has never smoked. When I found out that my oldest daughter was a smoker I was saddened by the fact that this ugly, expensive, and deadly habit would one day cause incalculable harm to her health and shorten her life. But try as we might, parents are seldom able to convince their children not to smoke if they’ve already started.
That’s the truth of it though, if your child begins smoking, for whatever reason, you can’t punish them, get angry with them, or otherwise do anything that is going wind up being effective. You have to stop them before they start, and if you don’t you just have to hope that peer pressure or a sudden spark of enlightenment will end the habit. Oh sure, you can give the sad parent stare, or perhaps even the occasional “I wish you wouldn’t smoke” speech, but by and large it doesn’t work. People quit smoking when ‘they’ want to quit, not when others want them to. And that includes your children.
It’s been reported that cigarette manufacturers have been upping the levels of nicotine in their products since 1999. They, the cigarette companies, claim that its because of the tobacco plant itself is producing more nicotine. Don’t doubt the answer folks, because these guys tweak their tobacco plants constantly in order to provide better insect resistant plants, to make them stronger against cold and warm climates, and yes, to yield a higher concentration of nicotine, a major factor in hooking kids on cigarettes. Kind of makes you think about what these people might put in their own electronic cigarettes, doesn’t it? But I digress.
Most Vapers know exactly how hard it is to kick the cigarette habit. Hell, if it were easy there probably wouldn’t even be an electronic cigarette industry right now, or if there was it wouldn’t be experiencing the incredible growth it sees today. Smoking cigarettes is a dangerous, often deadly pursuit, yet every day thousands of people pick up their first one. How sad is that?
Knowing what I know about electronic cigarettes I sometimes ask myself that if e cigarettes were around when my oldest daughter started smoking would I have felt the same way if I had found out she was vaping, not smoking. Electronic Cigarettes are “infinitely safer” than smoking cigarettes, but there is no denying the fact that they too contain nicotine. And nicotine is addicting. I believe it is otherwise harmless and even on occasion beneficial, but it is addicting. So the question remains, would I have felt the same way.
Yes and no…
I don’t like the idea that my own daughters could be addicted to anything, even nicotine or caffeine, but it sure beats the alternatives when it comes to addiction. I would prefer it if my daughter would have taken up vaping zero-nicotine juice, or nothing at all. Still, as far as health goes, e cigarettes cause the least amount of damage, if at all.
3800 teenagers are NOT choosing electronic cigarettes. Teens are choosing tobacco cigarettes. How are banning e cigarettes in any way shape or form helping teenagers? Hell, even if 5% of those 3800 teens that will smoke their first cigarette today chose an electronic cigarette we would be far better off down the road. 190 new Vapers every day means 190 people NOT dying of heart disease, strokes, cancer, or other ‘harms’ caused by cigarettes.
All of this leads me to one inescapable conclusion; if all these anti-smoking groups and individuals, and all these sleazy politicians were really out “to protect the children” as they love to say, wouldn’t it make more sense to use the same kind of logic they use when they talk to teenagers about sex? “We would prefer you didn’t, but if you do, use a condom.” And then they pass out the free condoms to high school students.
Doesn’t it make more sense to tell teenagers, “We would rather you not smoke, but if you do, use e cigarettes instead” and then pass around zero-nic disposable e cigarettes to those that want to try them. I know, I know, as the publisher of Spinfuel eMagazine I’m supposed to be on the side of those that want to ban e cigarettes from kids under 18 (or is it 21 now), but man, seeing the statistic above I don’t know anymore. 3800 kids a DAY?
We live in a nanny-state country now, and because of that those that believe in the nanny-state are in an uproar over e cigarettes, yet continue to do virtually nothing about tobacco cigarettes other than tax the hell out of them and spend billions on anti-smoking Ads. Don’t they know that it isn’t working as well as they believed it would? Apparently the number of kids that won’t listen to what anyone says about the dangers of smoking isn’t an unknown figure. That number is 3800; clearly we’re not reaching all of them. So, again, wouldn’t it be wiser to suggest to these kids that e cigarettes are safer and would still allow them to be whatever it is that they think they are as smokers? I don’t know, I’m asking.
Look, I don’t have the answers, I really don’t. I’ve kinda of pushed e cigarettes on my oldest daughter but she won’t have any of it. “They’re not the same,” she says. I have no idea what to do next, or if I should do anything. My gut tells me that anyone who has tried e cigarettes and cannot see the “possibility” that they could give up cigarettes and vape instead are those people that can’t be bothered with recharging batteries, filling cartomizers and clearomizers, and spending money on eLiquids they wind up not liking. I do know my daughter well enough to say that if she spent $100 on eLiquid only to find out that she didn’t like them it would piss her off so much she’d drive to the nearest store and buy a pack of smokes as fast as she could. I have a feeling most people that try, and fail, with e cigarettes feel the same way. Either that or they honestly believe that they will be different, “there is just no way I’m going to die…of anything! I’m going to live forever”.
As I have said many times before, I am the lucky one. I began vaping after having quit cigarettes in 1992. I vaped in the beginning because of my job, now I vape because there are so many eLiquids that I enjoy so much that I have no intention of stopping, ever. Not only that, but the benefits of nicotine, for myself, are many. For me, vaping is all about relaxing, relieving stress, enjoying flavors, and blowing vapor rings. It’s fun too.
But not everyone is like me. My wife was hopelessly addicted to cigarettes. She was the kind of smoker that would drive to the store at 2AM if she woke up and found the pack empty. I convinced her to try e cigarettes and after a period of trial and error she took to it and hasn’t had a cigarette in almost 3 years now.
So in end, I leave you with this; 3800 teenagers will pick up their first tobacco cigarette today, and every day going forward; every single day. We have to do something, as people, not as a government. People like my wife are finding a new beginning to a longer, happier, healthier life with e cigarettes.
Can someone, anyone, tell me why there are forces out there trying to stop e cigarettes from being the best alternative to smoking? After everything we know about cigarettes, after failure after failure of nicotine patches, gum, and medication, isn’t it time to recognize the real solution is e cigarettes?
There are no honest brokers on the anti-vaping side, there can’t be. Anyone with a brain can see that vaping is the only long-term solution to our tobacco crisis. And it is a crisis when three thousand eight hundred kids in the United States smoke their first cigarette…every single day.
Isn’t it time to realize that the enemy is not electronic cigarettes?