by Abby Layman
A new religion
| The Philosophy of Vaping
Cigarettes have been replaced. A new way of living has quickly gathered followers: vaping has become a religion. The days of asking one for a light is over. They have been replaced by asking someone if you can "hit that". Vapers, or people who smoke vapes, believe in vaping despite the reports on deaths, hospitalizations, deteriorating health, financial harm, and abnormal stress levels. They believe that there is no chance that they could become one of those cases; they believe they are immune to the side effects of vaping. They take each hit as a solitary moment of pleasure. Vaping has become the latest religion and source of independence.
Vaping, as smoking did, attracts those easily persuaded. The generation that speaks against smoking cigarettes and who has witnessed first hand the damage it does to their elders post videos on social media hitting their various vape devices. Vaping has been chosen as this generation's illusion of freedom. The feeling of finding a shop that sells to underage teens and making purchases without your parents' knowledge has given teens the taste of rebellion they have been craving. Just as smoking, they vape simply for the thrill of disobedience. There is only a slight change in mental state, so the overall appeal is found primarily through the illusion of freedom. The choice to become addicted to a piece of metal often starts young. This is because addiction and life choices start in the teenage years. You have to be in the phase of rebellion where you want to do exactly what you are told not to. Teens throughout history have sought their own choices. Today these are found through a vape.
The illusion of freedom you think you have from owning a Juul, Suorin, or another vape gives you satisfaction. The addiction all started when one of your friends bought one or acquired their older siblings' and offered you your first hit. Unlike for cigarettes, there is no gestation period for vapes. They are able to draw you in immediately with flavored juices rather than force you to become accustomed to the taste, smell, and feel of a piece of paper filled with black tar. The pleasure you get from hitting a new pod has been characterized as unlike any other. You are able to too easily forget you are intaking nicotine along with all those other life threatening chemicals. After a couple times of hitting your friend's device you decide to purchase your own torch of freedom: a vape. The decision is impulsive and effortless. The question is not whether to own one; it is what color should your device be.
For today's youth vaping has replaced cigarettes. It is the new, shiny forbidden fruit. Devices are colorful and juices come in any flavor one can imagine. So how can you not pick a vape over a boring cigarette? They are chargeable, indestructible, and taste good. The discreteness and convenience they give you to allow you to hit them in class or in the bathroom is revolutionary. Also, vaping is better for the environment as a whole. Which, of course, is the number one concern of vapers. With the ease of purchase, buying a device is like ordering custom shoes. There are different sizes, colors, flavors, brands, and concentration levels. They can ultimately customize their device to match their personality and it tastes like a badge of honor. They pull their device out of their pocket to showcase themselves like matching shoes to an outfit.
Vapers stand strong in their belief system. They tell you religiously they are not as bad as cigarettes because it does not contain tar to destroy your lungs. Vaping has rapidly taken over the nicotine industry. They create a bond with their friends over different preferred pod flavors and devices. Arguments are made on which brand is the least threatening to your health. They find the bathrooms at school becoming a designated area of rebellion. Everyone is doing it, so why aren't you? No one wants to hear about how you believe you are superior for not being addicted to nicotine at sixteen. Why would you want to be known as a judgmental, uptight goody two-shoes? That characteristic is a damning notion that will lead to you to be isolated from your peers.
The hidden truth that no vaper will acknowledge is their need for their vape. The knowledge that smoking cigarettes can kill someone is engraved as a child. They are taught the smell is everlasting and blackens lungs from the time one enters elementary school. Remember kids, hugs not drugs. In this day and age, when they vape, it is for the nicotine, there is no tar to die from: there is simply sour patch apple juice flavoring. They grow up seeing how the horrible addiction of cigarettes takes over lives, but vaping is different than cigarettes- it is new and fun. It is inherently different from smoking, or at least that is what they tell themselves. No one tells them how addictive a little pod can become. No one tells them about the mood swings and headaches they will have when they are unable to hit their vape all day. No one tells them how dependent they will become on a little piece of metal to ease their stress, but they find out.
The decisions you make in your life decide what you become enslaved to. You decide what you allow into your body. You decide how you will be perceived in high school. Will you be addicted to a harmful chemical or will you be shunned by your classmates? Life becomes stressful, so why not become addicted to something that temporarily relieves you of your worries? You earned it, right? You work so hard everyday, you deserve a reward.There are many thought processes that go through the minds of today's youth, but not one can be found to have intellectual backing. There is rather the immature desire to fit in and use outside substances to calm your anxiety. Even if it ends up diminishing your life expectancy.