Lifestyle: Has Vaping Overtaken Cigarette Smoking Within Mainstream Pop Culture?

For the best part of a century, cigarette smoking has been portrayed as being cool, sophisticated and a little rebellious. Movies and magazines often depicted film stars and celebrities smoking, with the implication that smoking would help ordinary people be just as cool and stylish as those stars of the silver screen.

Whilst the law has made it harder for tobacco companies to market their products in this way, the fact remains that many people still smoke (as you may have noticed!). We all know someone who smokes, but more recently, you may have noticed that more and more of your friends have made the switch to vaping, or e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes provide an experience that is very similar to regular cigarette smoking, but without the harmful chemicals that are found in normal cigarettes. Instead, vaping offers a harmless flavoured vapour, to simulate the smoke. As vaping continues to win new fans, it seems that smoking regular cigarettes are finally losing some of their appeal, and smokers are finding themselves in an ever shrinking minority.

Why is vaping so popular?

Even the most dedicated smokers cannot ignore the stark warnings from the medical profession about the health dangers of smoking. As such, many smokers are turning to vaping as a safe and reliable way of giving up regular cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is no different to any other addiction, and as such, it can be incredibly difficult to quit, but vaping has been heralded of late as a proven method of helping smokers to give up. Vaping gives smokers a means of transition, retaining the experience and familiarity of smoking, whilst giving up the actual cigarettes, and many then go on to give up altogether.

Another factor in the popularity of vaping is that it is much cheaper than cigarettes. Whilst there is a higher initial outlay to buy a vaping kit, ongoing costs are much lower than buying cigarettes non-stop for years and years.

As smoking has been restricted in public spaces over the last few years, regular smokers have increasingly found themselves in a minority, with most people these days finding it unpleasant to be in a smoky environment. Vaping is not nearly as anti-social as smoking, and has become the new, cool trend.

Why are cigarettes now so unpopular?

In the developed world, few people can claim to be unaware of the risks to health from long-term smoking, but in poorer regions, there is still a huge lack of awareness of the dangers of smoking. Public health education programmes will, of course, take some time to have any effect, especially in less developed parts of the world, but the decline of cigarette smoking is likely to continue, even if it’s at a slow pace.

The Government are also working hard to reduce the appeal of smoking, with restrictions in place to prevent smoking being marketed towards kids and teenagers. Gone are the glory days of tobacco firms sponsoring motor racing and other sporting events, or of movie companies being paid to shoot scenes where the hero or heroine is seen with a cigarette hanging from their lips. Additionally, warnings on cigarette packets become ever more graphic, and shops and supermarkets are now forced to stock all tobacco products out of sight.

Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, having only really taken off in the last few years. Already, though, it is having a material impact on the popularity of conventional smoking. Whilst most of us are familiar with nicotine patches and gum as helpful tools in the battle to give up smoking, few are yet aware that e-cigarettes are an effective means of quitting, or that the NHS itself has endorsed their use for helping people to kick the habit. As vaping becomes more widely recognised as an option for helping smokers to quit, more and more people will see that they have an effective and enjoyable option to help them give up, so the number of people still smoking regular cigarettes is likely to fall further over time.

It’s clear that, here in the UK at least, smoking is on the decline, and that vaping is helping speed up that process. As e-cigarettes can be seen as having all of the best parts about smoking, with few, if any, of the bad parts, there’s little wonder that vaping is proving so popular. Vaping is so much more convenient than smoking, and it’s easy to take a quick puff or two whilst holding a button, rather than having to trek outside to light up. There are no revolting smells to contend with either, only a delicate flavour of your choice.

An increasing amount of celebrities and big names have been pictured with an e-cig in hand, and their influence had done wonders for spreading awareness of this once fad turned lifestyle choice. Many guides to vaping have sprung up as a result, so there’s plenty of guidance out there if you’re thinking of making the big switch!

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