The growth of popularity of electronic cigarettes among young people: why are they choosing this alternative?

The growth of popularity of electronic cigarettes among young people

Published on: 07/10/2023



The electronic cigarette, slowly but surely, is supplanting the traditional cigarette in the habits of young smokers.

According to a research by the Veronesi Foundation, 1 million young smokers tried the electronic cigarette, 23% among boys and girls, with a slight prevalence of the female sex (24% vs 23%).

What are the reasons behind these choices? Why is “vaping” making its way into the habits of young smokers?

The answer is not univocal: the reasons behind this choice are different. Let’s see what they are.

Electronic cigarette: less risk than traditional cigarette and IQOS

Although there are no cigarettes that do not hurt, there is no doubt that electronic cigarettes cause less harm than traditional cigarettes and tobacco heaters such as IQOS.

A lot of research goes into that. A 2017 study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that it takes only 6 months from the abandonment of the traditional cigarette to see a significant reduction in carcinogens in the body.

Electronic cigarette: less risk than traditional cigarette and IQOS

The absence of combustion or heating of tobacco makes the electronic cigarette a healthier choice than traditional cigarette and IQOS: we know that the combustion of tobacco generates at least 70 certain carcinogens, including carbon monoxide, tar, cadmium, chromium.

Even tobacco heaters do not reach e-cig safety levels: a study commissioned at Tokyo 2020, which we have already mentioned in a previous article, has shown that IQOS and similar devices emit nicotine and other chemicals in a similar way to conventional cigarettes (although less nitrosamine and less carbon dioxide).

To this we add the possibility of buying liquids with a low content of liquid nicotine or even without: nicotine is the substance responsible for addiction, a strong and difficult to defeat addiction, which can cause withdrawal symptoms even very unpleasant.

It should be noted that the electronic cigarette should be used in a path of abandonment of the habit of smoking, as a substitute for nicotine, and is certainly not recommended to those who do not smoke and have never smoked: but young smokers who choose the e-cigs can count on a higher safety profile than traditional smoking or devices to heat tobacco.

The electronic cigarette, finally, allows you to maintain the gestures of smoking, a psychological aspect not to be underestimated; often, in addition to nicotine addiction, there is a kind of ritual difficult to abandon, a habit that, like all habits, It’s hard to eradicate.

In an article on the subject, a statement by the psychologist and psychotherapist Giancarlo Ceschi tells this well: “this product – he said – allows you to keep the gestures and habits of the smoker, something fundamental because, compared to other methods potentially alternative to traditional smoking, allows to maintain a greater overall sensory satisfaction and protect the identity of the smoker”.

Read also: Electronic cigarettes as nicotine substitutes to overcome addiction

The economic benefits of the e-cig

Alongside the health benefits, we find the advantages for the savings, an aspect that is leading more and more young smokers to opt for the e- cigarette at the expense of the traditional cigarette.

The costs are not comparable: electronic cigarettes weigh much less on the pocket of young smokers than the classic cigarettes, both compared to the “Heets”, the cigarettes to use with the IQOS.

An electronic cigarette for beginners of good quality can cost a little more than 10 euros: of course, the more the cost increases the more functionality, but a cheap electronic cigarette is more than enough to meet the needs of most vapers.

Even the costs of e-liquid flavours are low: for a few dozen euros you can buy enough quantities to last many weeks.

To this we add the possibility of mixing liquids by itself through special tools: the savings, in this case, is even more marked, allowing you to vape with a few euros per week.

Since 15 February 2023 the price of cigarettes has increased by 20 cents per packet, bringing the average cost around 5 euros for twenty cigarettes: this explains why many young people are abandoning the traditional cigarette in favor of vaping devices.

Liquids and aromas for all tastes

Liquids and aromas for all tastes: customize the vaping experience

Another aspect not to be underestimated, the possibility of buying flavored liquids according to your taste and needs. From tobacco aromas to fruity ones, on the market we find products for all tastes and all needs.

Such a level of customization is clearly not possible with traditional cigarettes: to this we add the already mentioned possibility of creating your own preferred electronic cigarette liquid once you have mastered the mixing.

Read also: The travel electronic cigarette : tips and tricks for a refill always at hand

In conclusion

Why are young smokers increasingly choosing the e-cigarette over the traditional cigarette?

The reasons are different: health benefits and for the saving, the possibility to choose between many liquids for e-cig and concentrated aromas to mix yourself with your favorite liquid.

Between economic savings and reduced damage (compared to traditional cigarettes and IQOS), young smokers are increasingly inclined to avoid cigarettes and switch to e-cig. Of course we are not pushing young non-smokers to start: those who have never smoked should not start. But in the process of abandoning the habit of smoking, the electronic cigarette is a very useful solution.