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Are Vapes Being Used to Stop Cigarettes or Start Them?

mason pearson
Photo by Mason Pearson

In previous years smoking cigarettes was the common entry into using electronic nicotine devices. However, in 2022 these roles might have reversed themselves. Recently students have reported that many of their peers are becoming susceptible to smoking actual cigarettes because of their experiences with vaping.

The fact that a huge number of teens and young adults currently use, or have used vaping devices is no secret. The CDC  found that approximately 2.55 million students currently use a tobacco product. Many people begin smoking electronic nicotine devices as a method of stopping smoking actual cigarettes, however many students are reporting that their peers are willing to smoke cigarettes because of their past use of vapes. A lot of teens begin vaping through peer pressure or because they want to fit in. In many college kids’ cases, they think that because they vape, cigarettes are not as bad.

“I really don’t think that I would have ever smoked a cigarette if I didn’t vape beforehand.”- UGA Student Emma Hoffman

Some people have even been convinced of the false notion that smoking cigarettes is healthier than vaping. Former UNG student Brennan Murphy said, “I have had conversations with people about the topic. Some people argue that cigarettes might be healthier because of the  unknowingness behind vaping.” According to the FDA, cigarettes contain nearly 7 thousand unknown chemicals, some man made  and some naturally produced as tobacco ages. Vapes commonly contain around 2 thousand unknown chemicals.

In an age of information where any fact is a Google search away, the lack of knowledge is interesting. Hoffman stated, “I feel like people choose deliberate ignorance, meaning they may not want to know. Some people might not be able to quit but are afraid to look at the harm that vapes might be causing their bodies.”

Some students blame party culture for their entrance to both vaping and cigarettes. The CDC claims that nearly 1600 students try their first cigarette every day. Students have been found to say that while their inhibitions are lowered by alcohol, taking the next step into cigarettes is far more tempting.  Coupled with a setting in which most kids have vapes and some have cigarettes, trying them for the first time isn’t that far fetched. When asked if more of his peers smoke when drinking, Murphy replied, “Oh yeah for sure, some even directly associate drinking with smoking cigarettes. A lot of college kids think that it’s funny to use the term ‘drunk cigs don’t count.’”

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Are Vapes Being Used to Stop Cigarettes or Start Them?