Advertisement for Highlight vapes, vaporizers designed to look like highlighters.

Am I Really Supposed To Believe This Vape Pen Isn’t Targeting Kids?

Who are we kidding here?

Vaping has become an epidemic among middle and high schoolers, and e-cigarette companies are only getting more and more devious in marketing to this audience. While previous generations dealt with cartoon mascots and slick advertising, younger generations are now being peddled products that could double as school supplies.

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The newest draw to childhood nicotine addiction is the HighLight vape: a vape pen that looks nearly identical to a highlighter marker. Naturally, the product comes in approximately one million colors and flavors, which couldn’t possibly be designed to appeal to children. Right?

This is not the only product on the market intended to help teens and pre-teens vape under the radar; other companies have come out with vape pens that look like USB drives, water bottles, and even hoodies. The websites for these products have some flimsy warnings at the top or bottom of the page, with many requiring users to enter their age before accessing the site (a barrier that literally anyone can breach). It’s clear that making the sale is these companies’ top priority.

It seems like besides making products that appeal visually to young people, these particular vapes are designed to help teens smoke inconspicuously (and not get caught). Vaping in schools has become a big issue for teachers to deal with, so disguising e-cigs as school supplies or other everyday items is a pretty sick tactic to make sure kids stay hooked.

The risks that go along with nicotine use are especially high for children and adolescents. Nicotine consumption through e-cigs and vaping can interfere with brain development and lead to cigarette use down the line. Nicotine addiction can cause also anxiety and stress, not to mention nasty withdrawal symptoms.

Scientists are still learning about the long-term effects of vaping on teens, but studies have shown that quitting nicotine leads to decreased anxiety levels and overall improvement in mood and quality of life.

(featured image: screenshot/Highlight Vape)


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Scout
Scout (she/her/hers) is a freelance news writer for The Mary Sue. When not scrolling Twitter, she's thinking about scrolling Twitter. She likes short walks on the beach, glitter pens, and burnt coffee. She does not read the comments.