Ya Vape? Ya Lose.
The dilemma of young adolescents recently investing not only their money, but potentially their life in vaping has swept the nation – leaving healthcare professionals concerned. In an article written by Aimee Cunningham she describes this recent phenomenon, specifically focusing on eight adolescents residing in Wisconsin who were recently hospitalized (Cunningham, 2019). The hospitalization was in relation to these teens experiencing shortness of breath. Medical professionals were unclear about the direct cause of this shortness of breath. (Cunningham, 2019). However, they did find one common trend amongst each of the eight teenagers – vaping (Cunningham, 2019).
“It’s not surprising” said pediatric pulmonologist, Sharon McGrath-Morrow, in relation to this issue (McGrath-Morrow, 2019; as cited in Cunningham, 2019). She disclosed her findings of recent increasing cases of adolescents developing lung ailments (Cunningham, 2019). In addition, chief medical officer, Jonathan Meiman, even mentioned that these eight, hospitalized teens needed to be put on ventilators to help them breathe (Meiman, 2019; as cited in Cunningham, 2019). So, the important question to ask is: why do these adolescents engage in vaping behaviors despite the health risks associated with it?
The answer to this question is a term commonly known as “ingroup”. The term “ingroup” refers to a group of people who all have a sense of membership and belonging to the group by sharing similar identities. Therefore, more and more teens are taking up vaping because of the belonging they receive from an ingroup as a result of being a part of the world of vaping. In relation to the article, the hospitalized teens probably took up vaping due to the influence of peers around them who were also smoking – vaping being the identity everyone in the group shared. In order to be associated and accepted by the group, each of the teens conformed to a similar identity the group members shared thus, creating an example of the ingroup (Cunningham, 2019). A term that can also be related to this idea is ingroup favoritism. This is when an ingroup favors the ideas of their own group as opposed to the ideas of an out-group. In this case, the ingroup that shares the similar idea of vaping and using e-cigarettes probably favor this behavior over an out-groups non-vaping behavior. When there is an ingroup with teens using e-cigarettes, there is also an out-group, a group that doesn’t belong or doesn’t think the same. The out-group in this situation would be the people who think that e-cigarettes aren’t good for your health, and how they shouldn’t be used by adolescents.
In a peer-reviewed article entitled, “Vaping in Context: Links Among E-Cigarette Use, Social Status, and Peer Influence for College Students” written by Lacey N. Wallace and Michael J. Roche, they discuss a study that involved college students being influenced by the use of e-cigarettes (2018). The study looked at whether or not the amount a student vaped was dependent upon the number of friends they had in their social group and the social roles possessed in the group, such as being either quiet or outspoken (Wallace & Roche, 2018). In the study, the participants included 175 college students who were all asked a variety of questions about their past vaping behavior and interpersonal relationships (Wallace & Roche, 2018). The results of this study ended up showcasing that evidently, the number of friends someone has and the kind of role they have in a group does not have an effect on whether or not a person uses an e-cigarette (Wallace & Roche, 2018). Although, the study did also conclude that people who have more than one friend in a group who vape are more willing to accept and try an e-cigarette in the future (Wallace & Roche, 2018). This is in opposition to when a group only has one group member who vapes, the odds of a new group member vaping are not as strong (Wallace & Roche, 2018). Therefore, the results of this peer-reviewed article does relate to our overall topic and concept (Wallace & Roche, 2018). It does because the article is portraying that when someone has multiple group members in their ingroup who vape, they are more likely to vape themselves (Wallace & Roche, 2018). This is due to the sense of belonging and group association that comes with being a part of an in-group (Wallace & Roche, 2018). In this case, the more group members who vape, the better the likelihood new group members are to vape themselves (Wallace & Roche, 2018). Part of this can also be due to ingroup favoritism. This is because since new group members favor the ideas of their own ingroup over the ideas of other outgroups, they are even more likely to engage in the behaviors and interests shared amongst their ingroup.
Cunningham, A. (2019, August 27). Vaping may have landed eight teens in the hospital. Retrieved November 23, 2019, from https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/vaping-may-have-landed-eight-teens-hospital.
Ridao, R. (2018, June 21). Photo by Rainier Ridao on Unsplash. Retrieved November 23, 2019, from https://unsplash.com/photos/4I2QhSrvW1A.
Wallace, N.L., & Roche, J.M. (2018). Vaping in Context: Links Among E-cigarette Use, Social