Anti-smokers that would ban e-cigarettes to prevent children and teens from having access to them have a few things to learn from teens. They claim that e-cigarettes are marketed to children and teens and that the flavors are cartridges are designed to entice children. The anti-smokers arguments against the e-cigarette literally go up in smoke.
There are some anti-smoking groups that oppose e-cigarettes (known as personal vaporizers or PVs to those that actually use them.) This strikes me as inherently unintuitive since I, and many former smokers like me, enjoy PVs and have actually successfully reduced or altogether quit cigarette smoking.
One argument that I hear time and time again (and perhaps the strongest argument) against e-cigarettes is that they are marketed to children and teens, and the other is that the flavors offered are enticing to children and teens; therefore the logical conclusion is to ban the sale of a (so far) legal device to adults.
Since I use a PV and conveniently happen to have a teen of my own, I asked him to look at the e-cigarette packaging and a few websites that sell e-cigarettes and tell me how likely he’d be to purchase an e-cigarette in the future. Please note, the following response came from the same child that has had to own every conceivable pokemon game and Nintendo handheld game system from the time he was six years old, who still owns a considerable number of Magic and Yu Gi Oh cards, blogs consistently about Neopets, and has read every Harry Potter book at least four times. My point is that this is not a child impervious to marketing.
My son looked at me and said, “Those are about as cool as an asthma inhaler.”
I have watched my son and his friends carefully, looking for signs that they might be abusing asthma inhalers as a way to appear hip and ironic. Perhaps it’s because we live in a small town, yet I can’t help but note a distinct lack of asthma inhaler abuse among the teens. I think perhaps that those advocating e-cigarette bans might actually ask a conveniently located child or two if said child (or children) feel that the packaging is enticing the youth of America to abuse Primatine Mist.
On to the second part of the anti-vaping argument: that the available e-cigarette flavors are meant to entice children and teens to succumb to the evils of e-cigarettes and PVs. Again, I turned to my child for the answers. I asked him to review a few lists of the e-juice flavors available on a website, then I asked him which e-juice he felt he would most like to try.
Again, my son’s response seemed perfectly rational, and if I might say so myself awesome on so many levels.