Vape is widely used among adults and even young adults these days. However, unlike traditional or burnable cigarettes, which are hard for minors to get hold of, it is not the case for vapes.
A netizen, Yazeed Hair Johari, shared his concern on Facebook regarding vaping within the Malaysian community based on his experience on Monday (11th July). He wrote in the viral post that the problem is how young women or underage girls are starting to have a go at vaping. He thought of the issue after seeing two minor girls, aged between thirteen and fourteen, vaping on the MRT train.
Although the girls’ hairs were dyed purple and blonde, he explained that he did not care for such trivial matters but only the vaping part. “One of the girls’ hair was dyed purple, the other one blonde, but it’s not my business because they didn’t use my money (to dye their hair). What got to me was I saw both girls holding disposable vapes. I know by the look of it because the vape’s design is quite well-known these days”.
It was not the first time Yazeed saw minors smoking electronic cigarettes in public. “I’ve witnessed underage students going racing with their motorcycles. Then, when they park their motorcycles by the road, they would vape among themselves in one big group. It made me wonder whether the vaping culture is normalised among kids aged 18 and below”.
He added that school kids back then would go to lengths to hide their smoking activity, unlike students these days who brazenly smoke in public. Yazeed also asked netizens’ opinions on the matter in the Facebook post, “Who should be responsible – vape sellers who didn’t impose age limits themselves? Neglectful or oblivious parents? Influence of friends and the community? Or uncensored vape advertisements on social media?”.
The comment section has received more than seven hundred comments so far. Netizens have given their opinions which can be read, “Vape is a culture now”, “Even aunties or women in hijab today can shamelessly hang their vapes on their necks”, and “Kids these days cannot be disciplined. They don’t like to be reprimanded”.
Parents and teachers should be equally responsible for managing their children and students’ behaviour regardless of sex or gender. The same goes to vape sellers or distributors who play a part in the culture as well.
Anis Sharina contributed to this article.