Vaping, often disguised as a less harmful alternative to traditional tobacco products, is rapidly gaining popularity, especially among the youth. A recent survey conducted by Think Change Forum (TCF), an independent think tank, underlines the growing concern surrounding vaping and the monumental lack of understanding about its risks among adolescents.
The study was conducted across metro cities in India and revealed a stark reality: nearly 89% of children aged 14-17 were oblivious to the harmful consequences associated with vaping and electronic devices. Notably, a whopping 96% were unaware of the ban on vaping in India, underlining a considerable information gap.
To put this into a global perspective, a 2018 study by the University of Michigan found that over 37% of high school seniors in the US reported vaping, marking a 10% increase from the previous year. This statistic signifies a growing global crisis, with adolescents becoming increasingly vulnerable to addictive substances introduced through electronic devices.
Commenting on the results, Sushant Kalra, a renowned Parenting Coach & TEDx Speaker, said, “Glamourization and normalization of such habits among children have thrown a blanket of ignorance over the harmful effects of vaping.” This sentiment aligns with a 2020 study by the Journal of Adolescent Health, which identified the ‘cool’ perception of vaping as a significant reason for its uptake among teens.
Further, the TCF survey indicated that a mere 39% of the adolescents had received any information about the risks of vaping from parents, educators, or media. This leaves a vast majority relying on hearsay and potentially fallacious information, increasing their susceptibility to the dangers of vaping.
This critical issue demands immediate intervention to rectify misconceptions and provide accurate information about the real risks associated with vaping. The TCF survey is a wake-up call for parents, educators, and policymakers to intensify their efforts in creating an informed society, especially among impressionable adolescents.