Can vaping really stop millennials from smoking tobacco?

With a surge in vaping’s popularity, millennials utilise an alternative to tobacco.

Jody Foristall says vaping is a healthy alternative to smoking.  He owns Rock Vapor, a shop that sells e-cigarettes and e-liquid. Mike Moore/Kicker


Mike Moore

They’re pretty much everywhere and so are the clouds of smoke.

Millennials using e-cigarettes are becoming more common, although the jury is still out on whether or not “vaping” is actually a safer alternative to smoking tobacco.  It’s common knowledge that smoking can cause extreme health hazards, but the long-term side effects of vaporizers and e-cigarettes has yet to be determined.

However, this doesn’t stop thousands of millennials from vaping every single day.

Jody Foristall, owner and operator of Rock Vapor, says he sees kids coming into his shop around the ages of 19 to 21 to buy a vaporizer because it’s the new, cool thing to do.

“They want zero nic,” Foristall said, referring to the nicotine dosage in e-cigarettes. “Most people that come in just want to get off the cigarettes.”

Older people are starting to buy into the new technology as well. However, more mature users aren’t known for blasting a pineapple-scented cloud in your face as you enter the mall.

Called vaporizers, the machines use a liquid that is heated and then the vapour is inhaled. Some of the liquids contain nicotine, but others do not.

“We had an elderly woman in her sixties come by yesterday to buy a vape before her trip to Florida. I’d say 10 per cent are 60 plus, and maybe 15 to 20 per cent are 40 plus,” Foristall said.

Mount Pearl resident Todd Squires, 47, says vaping has aided him in quitting the habit of smoking tobacco.

“I smoked a pack a day for 24 years,” said Squires. “I have tried to quit multiple times with patches, gum, cold turkey and hypnosis. I have wanted to quit since my son was born.”

He first heard about vaping from his wife’s friend, who had successfully quit tobacco by using a vaporizer.

There were many changes to the laws and regulations surrounding the e-cigarette industry in 2016. It means that users now face the same restrictions as tobacco users. Further research is currently being done, leaving the future of vaping uncertain.

“I think the laws that they passed were ignorant, irresponsible and hopefully not (malicious),” Foristall said. “We don’t quite bring in the big bucks, we only bring in HST. Cigarettes bring in a hell of a lot more money and have a hell of a bigger lobby than we have. So I’m hoping it’s not malice, but it’s definitely (an) irresponsible law and hopefully they’ll see past that.”

Foristall says his shop is not advocating nicotine addiction, just providing what he sees as a better alternative.

“I’m sure there’s people who protest giving clean needles to drug addicts, but they’re not advocating drug use, they’re just providing a safer way for people to use drugs if they choose to. It’s called harm reduction.”


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