NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE
Sale of vapes to under 18s to be banned
WALKING into a shop not too long ago, children would be greeted by the wall behind the counter filled with a vast array of different colours and flavours. Bubblegum, blueberry, apple, the list goes on. Not much has changed, but back then the walls were filled with jars of sweets. Today, it is various types of disposable vapes, writes Emma van Oosterhout.
The popularity of vaping among young people has not only raised alarm bells in public health circles, but it has triggered environmental concerns due to their electronic waste.
Once hailed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, vaping has evolved into a threat, endangering the health of young people whilst burdening the environment with hazardous materials.
THE RISE OF VAPING
Vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years. Among adults, but more worryingly, among teenagers. Walking through Tuam and witnessing children vaping in their school uniforms has become an all too familiar sight for some people.
With appealing flavours such as strawberry, watermelon and cola, vapes are reminiscent of childhood sweets, with the colours and flashing lights adding to the attraction of the devices.
According to one teenager, “the shops don’t ask for ID… [they would] serve you in your [school] uniform.”
They also said that teenagers are aware of what shops will and won’t sell them vapes, saying that the larger chain stores won’t sell vapes to them, but “small shops that need business” would, and that “pubs would serve anyone”.
Some teenage discos also condone vaping and smoking in their venues, by having designated smoking areas, and not confiscating vapes or cigarettes.
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