Why Vapewatch stands above other information websites
There are a lot of information websites out there on the topic of vaping, most are good sources of information for users of e-cigarettes, retailers, and now parents who may be concerned about their children using an e-cigarette. Youth vaping has started reaching record numbers, and borderline on being a bit of a cause for concern so parents need an outlet to find out valuable, and accurate information on the topic of vaping.
However, some websites publish content that isn’t always true, and can mislead the reader into believing misinformation about Vaping. This is why VapeWatch has been introduced in the UK, as a one stop outlet for retailers, consumers, schools, and parents to learn about Vaping. In this article, I’m going to take a detailed look at the entire VapeWatch website, as well as some websites from around the world with the same idea in mind and compare them to show just how good of a website Vapewatch is.
Youth vaping is becoming problematic
I’ve previously covered ASH’s survey on young people and the use of e-cigarettes but I’ll still talk about it here to give some context.
Action on Smoking and Health conducts yearly surveys on the behaviours of adult e-cigarette users as well as looking at the current state of Youth vaping in the UK. Inspiration for this was drawn from the Youth vaping epidemic that has been happening in the United States for the last few years.
The survey conducted in 2022 showed that Vaping amongst 11-17 year olds had increased from 4% in 2020 to 7% in 2022. It doesn’t seem much, but that’s still nearly doubled in a year and these are users who are underage to legally vape. So why has this happened?
The question was asked of which type of E-Cigarette was being used by the person being surveyed, and unsurprisingly a Disposable vape came out as the top answer, with a staggering 52% in 2022, compared to the meagre 7% used in 2021.
So, there is no denying that Disposable vapes are increasing in popularity, not only amongst young people, but in the Vaping world as a whole. And sadly, with this comes the problems of not only underage users using them, but also people capitalizing on the popularity and making counterfeit devices with illegal amounts of nicotine in them, and they’re being sold to unknowing customers, and worst of all, children. This is where Vapewatch comes in, and I’ll explain why.
What is Vapewatch?
Vapewatch is a website set up and described as “the brain child of leading Disposable Vape manufacturer Geek Bar” and in their own words has been set up to help “key stakeholders – parents, educators, retailers, wholesalers and distributors stamp-out under-age and illegal sales of Disposable vapes to minors” Whilst this website has been created by the people behind Geek bar, they have opted to not include their name or brand on the website as they did not want this to be perceived as a platform for advertising their brand, instead they are working hard to create an awareness and help try and combat the ever increasing problem that’s happening in the UK right now.
Vapewatch provides information to help people identify the above mentioned illicit disposable vaping products that shouldn’t be on sale in the UK, by giving pointers and advice to retailers on what to look out for when purchasing from a wholesaler. They give the steps people need to take should they find an outlet selling to minors or selling illicit devices. They also give advice to parents on what to do if they find out their child is vaping, as well as schools to help combat the use of vapes on the school grounds. It’s really good to see such an informative stance aimed towards parents and schools compared to some literature printed online in other countries designed to “inform and educate” of which I will come on to shortly.
The website is filled to the brim with valid and correct information from a reputable, knowledgeable source and has all the necessary information for the people that need to know.
Information from other websites around the world
Whilst Vapewatch is informative and gives helpful advice, they also avoid writing any misinformation about vaping and holding it in a dark light unlike some other sites do.
Several “information” websites and articles have been published in the USA, aimed at schools and parents to combat the problem they are having with youngers/adolescents using vaping devices, and unfortunately it isn’t near as accurate or conservative as what Geek bar have done with Vapewatch.
One of the most prominent ones that comes to mind is the Lee County School District Services printed an “information” leaflet for parents and teachers on “Signs to look out for if you suspect a child is vaping” However, this was more misinformation than any actual information and I must confess, a little bit on the humorous side also. Some highlights include;
“Look out for various USB drives and inhalers as Vapes are commonly disguised as these”
“Hard time paying attention as vaping decreases a persons attention span and causes a lapse in memory and concentration.”
I’ve never in my 7 years in the vaping game seen a USB drive as a vape, and Scientists have shown study results that Nicotine can actually increase a persons attention span and better their memory.
The misinformation from these same people stretches further back to earlier in the year, where they printed a publication in March 2022, where they stated “Vape companies are entering a nicotine arms race, and vaping is dangerous as people breathe aerosol into their lungs and disperse it from their mouth, nose and wait for it…EARS” Yes, they really wrote this. You can read it HERE
They may deserve to be cut some slack, and I mean only a bit, because they’re likely being fed this information from outside sources who hold an anti-vaping stance, but they should still really fact check for themselves before publishing these apparent “facts”
New South Wales “Vaping Toolkit”
Hot stepping it further over the water to New South Wales, Australia now where a whole entire website has been created to make people aware of the “risks” of Vaping, and I can’t see too much right with the information they have printed.
NSW Health produced a page on their website entitled “Do you know what you’re Vaping?” and it makes for some pretty interesting reading I must confess.
They have separate pages designed for parents, teachers and schools to combat the use of vaping devices but underage users. The one aimed at parents to speak to children uses “facts” for parents to tell their children about.
“Vaping has been linked to serious lung disease” – Now whilst this is correct, it doesn’t give the context of how or why vaping was linked to it. What they are referring to is the EVALI outbreak back in 2020, which was caused by people using THC vape cartridges that used Vitamin E Acetate and it was mostly contained to the USA and a small number of cases reported in the UK also, and never actually reached Australia. So whilst this is correct it was linked to it, the full context needs to be given in these situations.
With the popularity of vaping heightening quite considerably amongst youths, I’m all for literature being published warning children of the actual risks because although small, there are still risks. The biggest risk being the high chance of an addiction and/or a dependency on Nicotine being unnecessarily created. And information about this deserves to be published and distributed, not misinformation articles that do not have any evidential proof to support these wild claims.
Why Vapewatch stands out from the others
When comparing the website that Vapewatch has created to the other examples I’ve mentioned above, you can see why it towers above them in quality and quantity of valuable information to help not only parents and schools, but retailers and distributors as well in a bid to combat this ever-present problem the UK is facing with a surge of underage users of Disposable vapes.
The fact Geekbar have not attached their name to the website, so it isn’t misconstrued as an advertising platform shows how committed they are to wanting to create a reputable and trustworthy knowledge base to educate parents, schools, and others a like instead of promoting their products which in reality are at the forefront for this youth vaping. It’s a very smart move to which I commend them for.
You can access the Vapewatch website by clicking the link here:- Vapewatch – Stamping out under-age and illegal sales of disposable vapes.