Teens are typically attracted to things that their friends are doing or things that are perceived as defiant or cool. Smoking fits the bill across the board, with vaping coming in a close second. There are several reasons a teen may light up that first cigarette or take their first e-cig hit and then continue to smoke or vape thereafter.
Adults are Doing It
When a teen grows up around parents, relatives or guardians who smoke, they are likely to follow in their footsteps. This can especially hold true if they see adults turning to smoking or vaping to alleviate stress or kick back and relax. The habit can look relaxing enough for teens to want to give it a try.
Media Culture Promotes It
Sure, advertisements come with huge warnings on the dangers of smoking or vaping, but that’s not what catches the teens’ eye. They instead catch a glimpse of how savvy they can look in front of their pals. The effect is even greater when teens see their favorite celebs smoking in movies or on TV.
Peer Pressure Pushes It
Teens that see other teens smoking or vaping are inclined to do the same. They may be drawn to the habit in an effort to fit in, become well-liked or otherwise be seen as cool by imitating what the hip kids are doing.
Defiance Demands It
Teens are at a stage where they want to assert their independence and ability to make their own choices. While this is a healthy part of growing up, some teens take independence to the extreme in the form of defiance. Picking up cigarettes, vaping or otherwise adopting a habit they may have been warned against can fulfill the need to rebel.
They Think It’s the Hottest Trend
Teens tend to overestimate the number of students in their class who smoke or use e-cigarettes, falsely believing that “everyone is doing it.” This misconception can be further strengthened when they see peers at parties who invite them to pick up a cigarette or vape. Vaping can appear even trendier still when it involves high-tech devices and a flurry of enticing flavors.
Characterizing Flavors Entice Them
Even if the taste of cigarettes is enough to make some teens sick, the taste of many e-juice flavors are enticing enough to give them a whirl. These flavors include everything from caramel to cinnamon to fruity and sugary sweets that may seem specifically designed to appeal to teens. And appeal to teens they do.
Even though vaping has been shown to help some adults quit smoking, Dartmouth College researchers found 81 times as many teens that used e-cigs eventually turned to a regular smoking habit. Characterizing flavors may be the first taste of lifelong habit teens may ultimately wish they never started.
Quitting smoking at any age is always a good idea. Black Note has a collection of valuable information and resources that can help teens – and adults – achieve exactly that. Visit the Black Note Quit Smoking page today.