For 20 years teenage smoking fell steadily in Ireland. Then along came vaping and it all changedACTA
Campaigners claim global tobacco giants are a significant influence on Ireland’s vaping market.
Shannon D’Arcy (20), from Palmerstown, Co Dublin, started smoking when she was 17. “I was with my friends and I just said, I’ll have one, and it just went on from there.”
She is standing with some other smokers on St Andrew’s Street, in Dublin city centre. School might have been a contributory factor in her developing a nicotine addiction, D’Arcy says.
“I started stress smoking. We’d go out for a break [from school] and have a smoke. Then I started working and getting my own money, and buying my own smokes, and it got even worse then.”
She smokes about 20 a day and says all of her female friends are smokers too. “I know it is bad for you but once you are addicted to it, it is hard to stop. I just can’t stop. I don’t know why.”
She doesn’t touch e-cigarettes – or vapes – which work by heating up a flavoured liquid, usually containing tobacco, and inhaling the vapour. She doesn’t know anyone who does.
Over on South William Street Adam Ellis (19), from Donnybrook, Dublin 4 is pulling on a vape as he walks along with three male friends.
“I don’t smoke any more, I only vape,” Ellis says. “I started smoking at 17. I was just out drinking and my mate was smoking and he gave it to me and I started smoking when I was drinking.”
Soon, on days when he wasn’t drinking, he was smoking the cigarettes that he had left over from the night before. “That’s how I started.”
A few months ago Ellis started vaping in an effort to quit cigarettes. Cigarettes are expensive, he doesn’t like the taste and sometimes they make him sick. The day he spoke to The Irish Times he was inhaling from a “pineapple grapefruit ice” flavoured vape.
Source: Irish Times