While driving home from the mall on a winding road, I came to a stop behind a school bus as a young girl disembarked. Since I was several cars back, I could see the child running up the hill toward a house at the top. A gray haired man coming from the opposite direction came to greet her. A tender moment, yes? Except, he was surrounded by a vaporous cloud coming from his right hand. I’m not sure if he was her grandpa or another relative, but it seemed like a bad thing to do. Should a vaping grandpa greet the school bus?
When I was a child, most adults smoked—including my parents. Consequently, I started smoking as a teenager. That was the tobacco industry’s heyday. No one connected smoking with cancer. Cigarette ads featured movie stars who made it seem glamorous. On college campuses, free cigarettes were passed out to encourage smokers to start smoking particular brands. It took me 20 years to stop smoking.
Fast forward to the 21st century. Exposing children to secondhand smoke is considered child abuse. Parents who smoke go outside and hide behind the garage to vape. For their own sake, I wish they could quit, but at least they are trying to protect their children.
Let’s go back to Grandpa, and give him some credit. Maybe he’s turned to vaping as an attempt to reduce his addiction to nicotine. Perhaps he was outside with the idea of having a smoke before his granddaughter got home from school. Maybe she arrived earlier than expected. But still, he had to have seen her running up the hill. Why didn’t he ditch the e cigarette the moment he spotted her? He’s obviously a caring person who loves the little girl. She isn’t a latchkey kid. She has someone waiting for her to get off the school bus. So, he’s doing a good thing, there. But, in a few years, she will be a teenager, and she will know exactly how to vape.
According to statistics compiled from 2011 to 1015, vaping is the most popular form of tobacco use among teens. In the US, e-cigarette use rose by 900 percent among high school students..
By 2016, over two million middle and high school students had tried e cigarettes. 40 percent of vapers from age 18 to 24 had not been smokers before.
A growing body of research suggests that that vaping is dangerous for teens.
Stop vaping, Grandpa!