Hooked on Nico-Teen: The Youth Vaping Epidemic
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Between 2014 and 2018, the nicotine consumption market was irreversibly transformed with the boom of electronic cigarettes. Although these devices initially hit the market as a safe alternative to cigarettes that would help current smokers to quit, the product quickly spread to middle and high school students. Rather than helping current users quit, this product hooked children on nicotine, creating a fresh supply of addicts. This thesis will analyze the development of the e-cigarette market to pinpoint the exact cause for the boom in popularity among youth smokers by studying advertising campaigns from leading vape distributors. This research will help readers to better understand the role that JUUL marketers played in this market growth, as well as dissect the meta messages proposed in the vape advertisements around the period of growth.