Are Disposables De-normalising Smoking?

With the popularity of disposable vapes on the rise, the culture of "social smoking" among young adults (18 to 30) looks to be changing. Many pick an excellent, safer substitute before going out rather than a carton of smokes.

I can speak from personal experience: "I wish that contemporary disposable vapes had been readily accessible when I was a university student." I was a former social smoker. The custom among my friend group in the middle of the decade was to buy a pack of cigarettes to smoke on a night out. It seemed like fun, so I readily joined in. However, if there were a few extra smokes, you might be smoking the entire pack over the following week. You might notice that you're gradually sinking into an uncontrollable, more pernicious smoking habit.

I experienced this, and by the end of my first year of college, I was smoking 4 to 5 roll-ups per day. I recently switched to vaping. But I have to wonder, would my three-year smoking habit have even started if disposable vapes were as standard (or, for that matter, "excellent") then as they are now?

I get what you're probably thinking: e-cigarettes aren't meant for young adults to use on a night out; they're intended to help people quit smoking. This is accurate, and most of the market is still dominated by e-cigarettes used to help people quit smoking. Disposables, however, are the ideal preventive measure for some people. They can aid in stopping their smoking habit before it has a chance to take root.

This shift in young adults' nicotine usage patterns might make smoking unacceptably rare for a generation. Why is this societal shift happening so right now pervasive? The resurgence of single-use vapes is the straightforward solution.


The rise of disposable vapes

It's odd how consumer trends can come back to themselves. Particular fads, trends, and hot goods are rising in the food and drinks, health and beauty, and fashion industries. The vaping business is similar. But this most recent rebirth, or insurgence, seems far more than a fad. It might prove to be revolutionary in denormalizing smoking for the present generation of people aged 18 to 30.

Over the past year, disposable vapes have increased dramatically in popularity. Disposable vape pens made by Vaporesso, Geek Bars, and Elf Bars have all sold in the millions. These affordable yet efficient goods are now offered in tens of thousands of stores throughout the US and beyond. Generally speaking, you can find a disposable vape anywhere you can buy a pack of cigarettes. Convenience stores, supermarkets, grocery stores, and even some post offices carry the item in some manner.

Modern disposables frequently have quite potent, delightful flavors. They offer great convenience. When the device is done, you can discard it without replenishing or recharging it. Disposable vapes have existed for as long as vaping has in the UK, so this idea is not brand-new. Manufacturers have just been able to create goods with such rich flavors and outstanding vapor production in the previous 18 months. They are the best alternative to social smoking because of their delicious flavors and lack of long-term financial commitment.


Who Use Disposable Vapes?

While many different kinds of smokers and vapers are purchasing these gadgets, one group of buyers is proving to be particularly fond of them. They range in age from 18 to 30 and smoke in public. Most of the time, these young adults would smoke a few cigarettes, nearly always only when they were out with friends. However, with the popularity of disposables growing, many people are choosing a sweet-tasting, safer option to a pack of cigarettes.

Many of these young people, though, will identify as non-smokers. So how should we approach the moral implications of this societal change?


Social smoking vs social vaping

Before it reached the UK, the growth in disposables began in the US. According to a University of Michigan study, the youth smoking rate has significantly declined over the previous 20 years. This percentage fell to an all-time low of 2.3% in 2021.

Even though the powerful anti-vaping campaign would have you believe that vaping is a gateway drug that leads to cigarette use, this is not true. This couldn't be further from the truth; research like the University of Michigan's demonstrates a decline in youngster smoking. It's also critical to emphasize that "non-smokers" drawn to vaping would probably start smoking if they didn't have the alternative.

Regulators in the US have, regrettably, kept the vaping sector under control. The most recent legislation prohibits flavoring e-liquid in some states. This was done to combat youth vaping. However, according to JAMA Pediatrics research, it has had the opposite effect. They claim that the ban in cities like San Francisco has contributed to a twofold increase in underage high school use compared to other districts.


Have Disposables Had a Positive Impact on the Vaping Industry?

Many in the sector would contend that the growth of disposables has harmed the vaping market. Because of the industry's explosive expansion, those who stand to gain from its regulation have been fighting even more challenges to enact limits. The environmental impact of disposable plastic devices is another issue.

Disposables have proven to be one of the most successful approaches for assisting people in quitting smoking, despite their reputation. They haven't just been popular with smokers who have tried and failed to convert to a starting kit. They have also gotten potential smokers who might have developed a cigarette addiction.

Is this all morally right? In short, yes. Always choose a disposable vape over a pack of cigarettes if the choice is between the two. There will, however, undoubtedly be many who assert that disposables "attract young non-smokers." If taken literally, there is some truth to that, but it is clear that it does not cover the entire picture. The vital thing to remember is that, for the most part, disposable vapes only appeal to "non-smokers" who would likely smoke in public if there were no other option. Our industry's goal is to get people to give up smoking. In the past, we have accomplished this by offering existing smokers safer substitutes to encourage them to quit. Thanks to disposable cigarettes, we can now stop people who would typically start smoking from lighting up.