Electronic cigarettes have produced a variety of discussion topics ranging from health benefits to flavour options. There is one topic that just never seems to go away though, whether or not electronic cigarettes are attractive to teens/young adults. Many people, particularly those against e-cigarettes, have claimed that the advertisement methods used attract teenagers to the product. Not much has been done to prove whether or not those claims are correct or false, until recently. A study, produced by the Action on Smoking and Health, also known as the ASH, after a series of surveys has finally revealed an answer to this never-ending question.
The surveys conducted by the ASH produced some interesting, and perhaps even surprising, results. Throughout 2013/2014, the ASH conducted surveys across its 2,000 participants. The participant’s ages ranged from 11 to 18. The survey revealed that only 1.8% of the participants used electronic cigarettes on a regular basis. This is an incredible low percentage. Amongst that 1.8%, 90 percent of them made the switch from tobacco cigarettes to the e-cigarettes. Only 10% actually started e-cigarettes without any prior use of a tobacco cig. The majority of participants have never used an electronic cigarette. The results actually show that of the 80% who are aware of e-cigarettes, only 9 percent of them have actually tried the product. So basically, 98% of youth have never used an electronic cigarette. Where is this “attraction of youth to e-cigarettes” claim coming from then? It’s likely that the claim is nothing more than a fear of a new device being developed.
Due to this percentage not being 100%, there will still be concern and that is understandable. In order to hopefully decrease this concern though, ASH’s chief executor Deborah Arnett has put some rules into place. First, electronic cigarettes do have an age restriction for purchase; you must be 18 years old and have valid proof of such. Also, she plans to have advertisements regularly reviewed and controlled to insure that they are not attractive to youth (kids under the age of 18).
It’s pretty clear that e-cig mods do not attract youth members. Perhaps this is due to kids just not being fans of smoking in general, or already having an addiction to tobacco cigarettes. Regardless of the “why” factor, it appears that the unique, fruit flavours of electronic cigarettes just do not entice young people to use the product. This is further proof that electronic cigarettes are not only meant for, but are primarily used by, those who are trying to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.