The Vaping Craze Taking Over Children Around NYC
Stand around any middle school within the 5 boroughs long enough and you’re sure to see at least a few things that may take you by surprise, most notably the number of children taking part in the latest craze to hit the country, vaping. And yea, if we were talking about high school or college students, who cares, right? Young adults have ben experimenting with tobacco products and other substances since the beginning of time. But the vaping craze, made possible by brand names such as Juul, and their viral social media practices, are targeting children as young as 11 and 12. Staten Island father, Frank Camuso has seen a huge influx in child vapers in recent months. Frank Camuso was quoted as saying, “Dropping my kid off to middle school, I see at least one or two kids in every little group puffing away at one of those Juul things. And I know kids will be kids and get into trouble, but in middle school? Some of these kids are 11 years old….”
Like many other parents, Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, were most shocked by the reaction of their daughter to the craze. While she might not take part herself, she didn’t really feel there was anything wrong with her classmates use of such products and neither do the kids using them. Frank Camuso continued. “When we did stuff we weren’t supposed to, we hid when the adults came by. We at least knew we weren’t supposed to be doing this, but this generation thinks its almost their right. And I blame the companies, they’re making it seem like the cool thing to do, the cool colors, and designs? It makes it like its something to collect, like baseball cards.” This is the major issue most parents are having with these substances, while it is still illegal for children this young to legally purchase tobacco vaping products like the Juul, that has never really stopped youngsters before. Plus like everything else these kids buy, they are easily purchased online and come in a fairly discreet box that no one would be able to tell was truly anything other than the latest video game accessory.
When you think about a company like Juul, a company that according to CNN reports, is currently worth $16 billion, they may claim to be targeting those 21+, but they’re marketing strategies say something completely different. As Frank Camuso said earlier, the company has turned their Juul pods into a collectors item – with exclusive, kid-friendly flavors like mango, fruit punch, and cream. Plus, their super sleek, modern design, and unique colors, create an aesthetically pleasing little gadget. And in a society, where kids today are all about mobile technology like the smartphone and smartwatch; why not purchase the smart cigarette too! But how smart is it really? Not very, especially for a yet to be fully-formed young adult, fresh out of elementary school!
Thought to be the revolutionary change our society needed. Something that would swiftly put an end to lung cancer, and smoking as a whole; e-cigs and vapes are considered to be a far safer alternative to smoking, and in many ways they are. But the fact is that, aside from some short-term stats, e-cigs haven’t been around nearly as long enough to determine any long-term effects of such products. In some studies, they have even found some e-cigs to have DNA-altering chemicals, that are known to cause cancer and other issues. While it definitely does save you from the harmful effects of combustion that occurs to the tobacco, it is definitely not the healing vapor many make it out to be. With companies getting younger and younger with their ad campaigns, it doesn’t seem like there’s any end in sight. It is definitely up to the parents at this point, to educate and keep an eye on their kids to prevent them from taking part in these types of activities.