Does Vaping Have a Negative Stigma?
While many people report vaping has helped them quit smoking, e-cigarette usage has still not seen widespread acceptance. California recently declared vaping a public health risk, and vaping is now illegal indoors in many states across the country.
But, as we wrote about in another blog post, it's not at all clear that e-cigarettes are bad for you. Public Health England, a UK government agency, recently argued that vaping should be taken seriously as an alternative to smoking. While perhaps still somewhat dangerous, the dangers seem to be far less severe than smoking, and secondhand vape-smoke seems to be far less of a public health concern than secondhand cigarette smoke.
So is there a negative stigma attached to vaping for anything other than health reasons? This Mic.com article argues that vaping is widely associated with what it calls “toxic masculinity.” Basically, the writer says that the negative stigma attached with vaping is related to the fact that e-cigarette manufacturers seem uninterested in advertising to their female audience. This is a problem despite the fact that women are actually “1.27 to 2.05 times more likely” to express interest in vaping than men. Mic.com cites a PR professional named Mary, now working for accessory manufacturer Vapesox: “Naked women, pasties, tattoos, hard imagery—the conventions aren't necessarily appealing to the potential audience.”
So if there is a stigma, it might have something to do with too much macho advertising around vaping. Luckily, the article suggests that at least some e-cigarette companies and accessory manufacturers are working to ensure that all potential vape users feel welcomed by vaping culture.
It's important to remember that vaping is a relatively new culture, and that it's still not widely understood. That's a big reason why so many studies showing the dangers of vaping are misreported: people still don't know what vaping is, or how it can be helpful for people trying to quit smoking. Similarly, stigmas attached to vaping, whether because vaping is perceived as unsafe or because it's perceived as too macho, are often based on misinformation and fear. So if vaping does have a negative stigma, it's liable to change pretty soon, especially if vapers keep working hard to be inclusive and understanding.
Here at Vapor Smoke Shop, we're dedicated to providing a friendly environment for everyone. Why not drop on by if you're in the Charlotte area and see how we can help?