5 Reasons Millennials Still Smoke, Despite Growing Up ‘Anti-Tobacco’

 We all know smoking cigarettes is bad for us.

Yet, when I stand outside a bar or a party, I see my friends smoking. I’m even guilty of smoking one or two just to be “social.”

My friends and I are well-educated individuals who have sat through numerous health classes.

Time after time, we have been told smoking cigarettes is bad for both us and everyone around us who inhales our second-hand smoke.

We all know smoking cigarettes causes serious diseases, and it can significantly increase our risk of getting cancer.

Yet, our generation cannot seem to kick the habit.

According to TheTruth.com, only 8 percent of teens still smoke. According to the website, “that’s down from 23 [percent] in 2000 and 9 [percent] from last year.”

Yet, in 2013, the Center for Disease Control issued a fact sheet, stating nearly 18 of every 100 adults aged 18 or older currently smoke cigarettes.

This means an estimated 42.1 million adults in the United States alone smoke cigarettes.

Here is a list of excuses we tell ourselves to justify our smoking habits, and why they are completely invalid:

1. “Smoking socially once in a while isn’t bad for me. I won’t die from the occasional cigarette.”

According to the National Institute of Health, the number of people who smoke daily is steadily decreasing, while the number of people who social smoke has significantly increased.

While this may sound somewhat promising, one needs to take into consideration that light smoking carries nearly the “same risk for cardiovascular disease as daily smoking.”

Whether you just smoke a cigarette or two on the weekend or a pack a day, you’re still risking several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, lower respiratory tract infection, cataracts and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.

2. “If it’s so bad, why is everyone still doing it?”

While it may seem like a bunch of people are doing it, they’re not.

Years ago, cigarette companies would pay celebrities to smoke and endorse their products. Today, that’s not allowed.

You’ll rarely find a restaurant or bar that will allow you to smoke within 20 feet of the establishment.

Cigarettes are still used by many people, but the way cigarettes and the people smoking them are viewed is no longer glamorized.

Instead, many understand smoking is a terrible habit, and they will actually respect you for not smoking.

3. “That guy is so cute, and he smokes. I want to go ask him for a cigarette so I can start talking to him.”

Time after time, I hear my friends using this as an excuse to socially smoke.

They want to strike up a conversation with someone or show they’re adventurous or a “badass.”

Of all the excuses to smoke, this is possibly the worst.

If a guy is smoking, don’t ask to smoke with him.

He might be addicted and smoke because he can’t help it. So if you ask for a cigarette, he could be turned off because he wants someone who doesn’t smoke to encourage him to quit.

If he smokes because he likes it, why do you want to start a relationship with someone whose mouth perpetually smells like an ashtray?

If you want the thrill of dating someone who is adventurous, go for someone with an obsession for motorcycles or bungee jumping.

Smoking cigarettes is not badass. It is actually dumb AF.

4. “I’m just smoking this week so I can fit into this dress. I don’t actually like it.”

It has often been said smoking curbs hunger. Nicotine, an addictive ingredient in cigarettes, is considered an appetite suppressant and stimulant, helping those who want to shed a few pounds.

However, like many fad diets, quitting the cigarettes will end up making you gain that weight right back.

If you want to lose some of those pounds, get healthy the right way. Fad diets never work.

Instead, they leave you hangry. You should also never risk your health in order to fit into a certain dress size.

5. “Marijuana is actually better for you than cigarettes. Sometimes, I just mix tobacco with my weed to make a spliff.”

Without going into a long debate about whether or not marijuana is more natural and better for you than tobacco, I would like to point out that anything mixed with nicotine is not good for you.

I would also like to point out that e-cigarettes, hookah and vape pens are not good for you, either.

Sure, they might not contain the thousands of chemicals found in regular cigarettes, but they do contain nicotine.

Nicotine isn’t good for you in any form. It’s an addictive ingredient that causes an addiction to tobacco products.

Keep Vaping China, Don’t Listen To The World Health Organization On E-Cigarettes

BEIJING, CHINA – JUNE 01: Researchers estimate that smoking will cause about 20% of all adult male deaths in China during the 2010s.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

When it comes to smoking and vaping, the world of public health seems more like Oceania, 1984, every day. In that Orwellian realm, Big Brother issued nonsense statements such as “war is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength.”

In the U.S., the CDC and the California Department of Health have assumed the role of Big Brother, effectively telling smokers they might as well keep puffing because e-cigarettes are hardly any safer. Talk about an Orwellian inversion statement!

In truth, vaping is far less risky than smoking. E-cigarettes and other devices heat a nicotine solution to produce an inhalable vapor. They release none of the carcinogenic tar of cigarette smoke, making them the ideal nicotine-delivery system for smokers seeking to reduce or halt their intake of combusted tobacco products.

On a global scale, the World Health Organization is Big Brother. Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director-general, is a confirmed skeptic. As she told China Daily last week– “I recommend that national governments ban, or at least regulate, them,” she said. (Elsewhere, Dr. Chan has opined that e-cigarettes should be regulated the same way cigarettes are regulated– even though they are not remotely equivalent in terms of harm.)

Dr. Chan’s comments were contained in a news story on Beijing’s crackdown on indoor smoking which began on June 1st. The ban has reportedly boosted the public profile of e-cigarettes. As a result, the article said, vaping is becoming increasingly popular, particularly with young urbanites, according to Gan Quan, China director of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

These facts show how nonsensical it is to consider a ban on e-cigarettes while failing to call for one on cigarettes. After all, cigarettes are 20-100 times more dangerous than vaping.

In fact, if China truly wants to be smoke-free, it is not clear why the government, which is not known to be shy about imposing paternalistic policies in other areas, does not simply ban cigarette production and let e-cigarette use bloom.

After all, e-cigarettes are a homegrown product, invented in China in 2003. Shenzhen province housed 900 manufacturers of the devices in 2013, up 200% from the previous year, and accounted for over 95% of global e-cigarette production. Yet, despite considerable progress in e-cigarette industry, China’s traditional cigarettes still dominate the Chinese market.

As Yanzhong Huang of the Council on Foreign Relations recently pointed out, “If only 1% of China’s smoking population turned to e-cigarettes, it would mean a market of about 3.5 million e-cigarette users.” The state-owned China National Tobacco Corporation, which sells almost all of the cigarettes consumed in the country, could become the world’s largest e-cigarette maker.

Right now, however, the Corporation is a massive income source for the nation. It generates CN¥816 billion (7-10% of GDP) in revenue. Indeed, tobacco receipts finance as much as half of some provincial governments’ budgets. The loss of so much income would make prohibition a huge challenge.

Another barrier is low public awareness. Only 25 percent of Chinese adults have a comprehensive understanding of the health risks of smoking, and less than a third are aware of the dangers of second-hand smoking, according to World Health Organization. Less than 10 percent of Chinese smokers quit by choice and Chinese people are beginning to smoke at younger ages.

As for those Chinese smokers who do turn to vaping, China’s e-cigarette industry is currently very poorly regulated and the quality of vaping products is uneven. If e-cigarettes are to replace traditional cigarettes and offset lost tobacco revenues, the government must regulate the industry more carefully to ensure safety and quality.

In the end, China is unlikely to ban cigarettes. At the very least, then, the environment should be made as friendly as possible for moving smokers to quality-made e-cigarettes.

Is there any hope for WHO on this issue? Dr. Chan has already received important information about the promise of electronic cigarettes. In spring 2014, 53 international health experts wrote a joint letter encouraging her to “resist the urge” to “control and suppress” electronic cigarettes by classifying them as equivalent to cigarettes for purposes of regulation. The letter was issued in the run up to the sixth Conference of the Parties, COP6, under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The signatories advocated for tobacco harm reduction, or safer nicotine use in the form of vaping, to be considered by the parties.

In the fall of 2014, COP6 culminated in a decision to “prepare an expert report, with independent scientists and concerned regulators, for the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties. The report will include an update on the evidence of the health impacts of [electronic nicotine delivery systems], [their] potential role in quitting tobacco usage, [and their] impact on tobacco control efforts.”

This sounds promising – if the scientists involved are truly independent of a pre-existing animus against harm reduction. Geneva insiders, such as Dr. Delon Human of Switzerland-based Health Diplomats, anticipate that such an analysis won’t be available until the next COP meeting, probably slated for fall 2016.

One wants to be optimistic about COP7, but just in case, I hope many of the experts who penned the earlier letter to Dr. Chan, will write her again with a detailed, data-rich assessment of the virtues of tobacco harm reduction. If WHO is a responsible, evidence-driven agency, it will quit the doublespeak on e-cigarettes.

E-Cigarettes are Becoming a ‘Lifestyle’ Accessory


Ben Hur Goncalves


October 15, 2015

7:00 pm

E-cigarettes and vaporizers are electronic inhalers powered by rechargeable lithium batteries, a silicone mouthpiece and a cartridge that’s known as a cartomizer. The cartomizer itself is filled with the liquid that typically contains propylene glycol along with nicotine or nicotine-free flavors and other additives.

The e-cigarette is smaller than the vaporizer and looks more like a real cigarette, but it’s limited when it comes to battery life, nicotine consistency, and flavor experimentation. Vaporizers, on the other hand, are bigger, can deliver more nicotine, have improved battery, and a larger variety of flavors and features.

The business began as an alternative to offering low-nicotine options to smokers that were trying to quit. Since vaping has grown, experts have debated whether it’s beneficial or harmful to consumers and also whether or not e-cigs should be regulated the same way other tobacco products are.

However, the industry realized that e-cigs could be extended to non-smokers and smokers alike, offering flavors from chocolate, fruits, or even butter. Of course, by pivoting towards a lifestyle feel over the “curing addiction” mentality, e-cigs have become widely appealing to young adults.

In one particular study about the safety of e-cigs, researchers analyzed two leading brands and concluded the devices did in fact contain trace elements of hazardous compounds. However, the American FDA report found nine contaminates versus the 11,000 contained in a tobacco cigarette and noted that the level of toxicity was shown to be far lower than those of tobacco cigarettes.

In another study, from the Cure From Tabacco and Prevention Center along with the Catania University, Italian researcher Riccardo Polosa found out that e-cigs are far better than regular cigarettes.

“Existing evidence indicates that EC (read: e-cig) use is by far a less harmful alternative to smoking. There is no tobacco and no combustion involved in EC use; therefore, regular vapers may avoid several harmful toxic chemicals that are typically present in the smoke of tobacco cigarettes. Indeed, some toxic chemicals are released in the EC vapor as well, but their levels are substantially lower compared with tobacco smoke,” concludes the article.

Although this topic might be polemic and controversial, its long term success is almost guaranteed. A Wells Fargo report indicated that vapor industry profit margins could top combustible cigarettes by 2018.

E-cigarette sales in the US are expected to hit $3.5 billion in 2015 and $7 billion worldwide. Further, specialists noted that vaping is substantially more affordable than combustible cigarettes and rechargeable e-cigarettes, and that the vaping lifestyle is attractive.

The cofounder and CEO of premium V2 Cigs, J. Andries Verleur, suggests that as consumers begin to try and accept vaping and electronic cigarettes, disposable models will become obsolete:

“I don’t see disposables as being a major factor five years from now,” says Verleur. “There’s not much value in it for the consumers.”

Indeed, as the world becomes more globalized through social networks, more attractive lifestyles change our society faster and faster. As these devices become more accepted by young adults, their market share will grow, more competitors will take place, and there will be the need for a regulation.

Safe to Vape? 5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About E-cigarettes

Safe to Vape? 5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About E-cigarettes

Michael Green Center for Environmental Health e-cigarette vaping

In my Mom’s time, it wasn’t unusual for teenagers to take up smoking. At the time, the general public was not aware of the dangers from cigarettes, and the big tobacco companies worked for decades to keep people in the dark about their poisonous products.

Today teen tobacco use is down, but parents have a new smoking technology to worry about. The use of e-cigarettes is skyrocketing among young people: recent data shows that teens’ use of e-cigarettes tripled in just one year.

  1. From Big Tobacco to Big Vaping

Leading tobacco companies are the biggest players in the e-cigarette industry, so it’s no surprise that the industry misleadingly markets its products as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes that produces nothing more than harmless water vapor. But independent experts say that chemicals from e-cigarettes may pose lifelong dangers, especially to young people. With little of this information getting out to the public, it is critical for parents to know about the risks their children face if they take up this addictive habit.

[5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Harmful Chemicals in Make Up & Health Products]

  1. Where there’s smoke…there’s cancer?

A report by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), A Smoking Gun: Cancer-Causing Chemicals in E-Cigarettes on testing of nearly 100 e-cigarettes and vaping products showed that almost ninety percent of the companies whose products were tested had one or more products that produced high levels of one or both of the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Cancer is not the only health hazard linked to exposure to these chemicals: both have also been linked to genetic damage, birth defects, and reduced fertility. The CEH testing found high levels of these chemicals even in e-cigarettes with no nicotine, dispelling the notion that nicotine-free vaping is harmless.

  1. Nicotine: the fix is in

Nicotine is known to cause serious reproductive health problems and thus may be especially dangerous for young women. A recent review of 50 years of data found that smoking during pregnancy significantly increased the risk of birth defects, including missing or deformed limbs, clubfoot, skull defects, and others. Nicotine can also damage adolescent’s developing brains: a 2014 study found that nicotine addiction led to impaired brain functioning in teens.

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

  1. Smoking cessation or gateway?

The e-cigarette industry heavily markets their products as an aide to stop tobacco smoking. But experts suggest the opposite may be true: a 2014 study found that smokers who use e-cigarettes may be at an increased risk of not being able to quit smoking. According to Dr. Stanton Glantz of Stanford University’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, numerous studies suggest that the use of e-cigarettes may create a “gateway effect” leading many young people to tobacco smoking.

  1. Younger children at risk

Poison control centers are seeing skyrocketing rates of accidental nicotine poisoning incidents from vaping products: from 2011 to 2014, the number of such cases increased by 13 times, with most cases involving children ages 5 and under. Kids are drawn to vaping products, since they are often marketed in candy or dessert flavors, and are sold without child-safe packaging. Last year we saw the tragic results of this reckless marketing: a one year-old child died after swallowing liquid nicotine.

How to Add Space for E-Cigarettes


After years of stellar growth, the vapor products category responds to changing marketplace dynamics. With one eye on the market, convenience retailers constantly weigh how much shelf space to allot e-cigarettes.

By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor

When industry analysts announce in July that a product category is on track for a growth rate of approximately 31% for the entire year, most retailers would welcome the news as an indication that category is performing better than ever. But when that same category finished 2014 with an annual growth percentage of 77%, 31% suddenly looks less impressive.

That’s the figures stakeholders have been contemplating in terms of what’s happening with electronic tobacco products this year.

Sean Bumgarner, vice president of Scrivener Oil Co., headquartered in Springfield, Mo., is one of those stakeholders. The company’s 11 Signal Food Stores carry brands of both e-cigarettes and vapor-tank-mods (VTMs).

“They are selling fairly well, [but there are] lots of places besides convenience stores to buy the products,” Bumgarner said.

To promote the category, Bumgarner has chosen to highlight the top-sellers.

“The brands we want to really focus on are on the front counter. The remainder we work in next to the cigarette display,” he said.

E-cigarettes, VTMs and e-liquids have all experienced softer sales in 2015, compared to last year. In a year-to-year comparison ending the week of Aug. 8, 2015, e-cigarette dollar sales in all retail channels dropped 3.5%.

Meanwhile combustible cigarette dollar sales rose 3.1% for the same period. What’s more, category growth has been decelerating quarter to quarter since early 2014. In fact, according to Wells Fargo Securities LLC, nearly as many retailers reported a decrease in e-cigarette sales as those that recorded increases.

“The apparent slowdown in the U.S. market is mainly attributed to the natural course correction in the industry. The industry has come a long way in a short span where market push forces (new product launches) are being outweighed by pull forces (consumer preference),” said Apoorva Awasthi, lead research analyst for Bloomington, Minn.-based BIS Research.

Meanwhile, a Reuters poll concluded that approximately 10% of adults currently vape, which includes both e-cigarettes with built-in

cartridges, as well as vaporizers that have replaceable cartridges, and users choosing e-liquid flavors. This rate is nearly four-times higher than government estimates.

Why the discrepancy between sales and apparent widespread use? Bonnie Herzog, senior analyst for Wells Fargo Securities, suggested heavy discounting has driven down dollars. But even in that case, the category remains an important revenue source for c-stores.

At the Vapor Expo International earlier this year, Herzog told attendees that c-stores continue to offer non-combustible tobacco products to not only meet customer demand, but because products offer a sizable profit margin for makers and retailers. Indeed, Herzog anticipates margins from vapor products will approach 39% by 2018—substantially closing the gap with combustible cigarettes, which Wells Fargo estimates will generate margins of 54.5% by 2018.

“Although c-stores offer lesser variety of [e-tobacco] products [than vape shops], the number of [c-stores] and their reach to end-users are clearly contributing to their growth in the market,” said Awasthi. “Moreover, setting up new vape shops requires capital investments that are otherwise eliminated when offering products in already established c-stores.”

Over the past few years, Mike Gancedo, category manager for The Parker Cos., based in Savannah, Ga., noticed a steady uptick in VTM and e-liquid sales in 38 Parker’s stores located in Georgia and South Carolina. In fact, there has been enough sustained customer interest that the company decided to develop a private label line of VTMs and e-liquids and focus less on e-cigarettes.

“We have reduced [e-cigarette] space in most locations because we have discontinued non-performing products,” he said.

Instead, Gancedo showcases VTMs in customized displays placed in prominent positions.

“We found that in stores where we placed a counter display, they sold more than twice the product than in stores without counter displays,” Gancedo said. “We have also made space in all stores on the backbar displays. Larger stores have one-inch to three-inch backbar fixtures; smaller stores have a shelf on our other-tobacco-product fixtures. This gives visibility to our new vape mods from any register in our stores.”

Deciding what brands to sell has become just as important a business strategy for c-stores as how to merchandise the products. While Parker’s has invested in creating its signature line, that is generally the exception. Rather, the majority of c-stores go through distributors or deal directly with manufacturers.

“We go with what our distributor recommends and adjust accordingly,” said Bumgarner. “Also, we bring in customer requests.”

The perception of the e-tobacco industry is still that it’s saturated with startup manufacturers with little official oversight. This quality assurance void has caused some concern for product safety among retailers and consumers.

Manufacturing leaders and industry advocates have been calling for industry-wide standards so retailers can promote the quality of products in their stores.

“Associations such as the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association, which started functioning in 2012, have been trying relentlessly to create responsible and sustainable practices and processes for the safe manufacturing of e-liquids,” said Awasthi. “Moreover, the packaging should have certain labeling, such as those from ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or if the product is CE (Conformité Européene) compliant, further enhancing the trust of end-users.”

This distinction could become more important as consumers become more brand aware and brand loyal. Evidence of this trend is already noticeable, such as Big Tobacco becoming more prominent this year. Until fall 2014, blu, recently sold to Imperial Tobacco, was the market leader. By the second quarter 2015, Vuse, an R.J. Reynolds Vapor property, assumed the top position. According to Wells Fargo, for the four-week period ending Aug. 8, Reynolds held nearly 40% of the e-cig dollar share, followed by blu (20.6%), Logic (16.3%), Altria, maker of MarkTen (6.3%) and NJOY (4.7%).

“For any growing industry, brand holds paramount importance since the products from established industry players are more trusted among users,” said Awasthi.

One of the interesting phenomena affecting the electronic tobacco marketplace this year is a litany of conflicting factors. For example, the Reuters poll indicated that nearly three-fourths of vapor users started within the past year; however, there’s also been new tax and legislative activity, including age restrictions that have convenience store owners and operators concerned about the future growth of the category’s customer base.

And as of this printing, manufacturers and retailers alike still await the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) official ruling on e-tobacco and any potential aftermath it may have on both manufacturing and sales.

This conglomeration of factors, along with the occasional negative news story, has resulted in mixed messages reaching consumers. Analysts suggest convenience store owners and operators keep these issues in mind when formulating marketing plans.

“Because e-cigarettes have been attracting a large population of youth and adolescents, the advertisements must not be too flashy or something which appears to be a fad rather than an alternative to conventional smoking,” Awasthi said.

At Parker’s, nearly all the e-tobacco promotional materials highlight its private label.

“We customize and print our point-of-sale materials in house for our backbar displays, counter displays, window signage, pump toppers and pump wraps,” Gancedo said.

Not only does he want customers to be aware of the brand, but also the quality.

“We are working hard to let the vaping community know that Parker’s is a destination for high quality VTMs and premium liquids. Everything we print includes ‘vape store quality at your convenience.’ We are able to offer great quality at a price that vape shops cannot compete with,” said Gancedo.

The Benefits of Quitting

The Benefits of Quitting


Everybody knows about the benefits to your health from giving up smoking. They know about the links to cancer, about the damage to your respiratory system and the multitude of additional issues that smoking can incur, such as asthma. But what most people don’t realise is that smoking is linked to far more than just your inner health. The repercussions of lighting up are far- and wide-ranging, both for you and for the people around you. Conversely, though, this also means that the benefits of quitting go far beyond popular perception.

If you do decide to quit, there are plenty of ways to do so, from nicotine patches and gum to hypnotherapy and e-cigarettes. These last devices are gaining considerable support and backing from both smokers and, more recently, health charities thanks to the first real report into the effects of vaping, as using an electronic cigarette is known.

The report found that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes – a dramatic decrease for someone who regularly smokes. Some people argue that the inclusion of nicotine in e-cigs does not solve the long-term problem of addiction, but the simple truth is that it’s far better to be addicted to something with only a handful of flavouring-related chemicals than to something with around 4,000 mostly carcinogenic chemicals. Besides, the e-liquid in e-cigarettes has variable amounts of nicotine, so you can customise how much you consume.

This benefit has persuaded many people to take up vaping as a way of cutting down on their tobacco intake, often with the aim of quitting completely in the longer term.

In fact, the vaping report highlights a number of ways in which vaping is more beneficial to you than traditional smoking, so where better place to start with our overview of the main advantages of giving up?


We’ve already mentioned cancer, but did you know that heart attacks and strokes are both far more likely if you’re a smoker, and smoking effectively doubles your chances of heart disease? By giving up, you stop putting additional pressure on your heart and circulatory system, as well as your respiratory system, both of which usually have to work overtime to rid your body of the toxins smoking introduces.


Smoking generally has visible signs in yellowed teeth and nails, bad breath and dull, grey skin due to a lack of oxygen reaching your skin cells. Smoking also produces cellulite – which, although on its own doesn’t make you fat, does give you that rippled skin effect that never looks good on anyone. The good news? Quit today and your skin will start repairing itself, meaning that you’ll start regaining those good looks in no time.


Smoking is renowned for reducing fertility in both men and women. In men, smoking can cause long-term impotence and a lower sperm count, while in women it reduces fertility by around a quarter. In addition, the risks of smoking whilst pregnant include miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and increase the risk of cot death by 25%. So if you want to have children and keep them safe and healthy, you’ve got a far greater chance of success if you’re a non- or ex-smoker.

Friends & Family

Second hand smoke is a real risk, and is a major cause of childhood respiratory illnesses such as asthma. It’s no use making sure the smoke blows away from people, either – 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible, so you have no way of knowing where it’s ending up. Don’t put the lives of loved ones at risk – quit now and stay healthy with them.


If you’re a smoker who often complains of having no money left each month, consider this: smoking 20 cigarettes a day costs you on average £250 a month, or £3,000 a year. That’s a lot of disposable income that could surely be used for more beneficial, and longer-term, investments. If you are looking for a cheaper and healthier alternative to smoking, you should check out the new e juice range from Medusa Juice e-liquid which tastes great in any e-cigarette and is very reasonably priced.

So if you think you’ve got something to gain from giving up smoking, whether it’s an extra few pounds in the bank, a boost to your appearance or a chance to set a healthier example for your family, the change starts here, now, and it’s up to you to make it a success.