No matter the generation, kids can almost always be counted on to find some way to rebel, to assert their independence and freedom from authority. That’s especially the case if the behaviors they undertake are against the rules and would land them in a heap of trouble if they’re caught.

    For many decades and, yes, even today but to a far lesser extent, lighting up a cigarette and puffing away, even if you didn’t yet know how to inhale without having a coughing fit, was one of the most popular behavior manifestations of young people insisting on not walking the straight and narrow in order to gain favor with the grownups.

    But for kids these days, smoking a cigarette is right up there on the trendy list with texting your buddy with a flip phone.

    Nope, today’s young people, they’re vaping.

    You have to hand it to an industry that at some point would inevitably fade into oblivion if it kept counting on younger generations to light up that first cigarette, and then another, and then another, and then at some point become hooked on the nicotine. Not only is the act of vaping created as an effective nicotine delivery system, but the devices used to vape look so cool it’s impossible for some kids to resist. And, right on cue, the tobacco industry comes up with even cooler devices and, more importantly to them, smaller devices that are much more difficult for the powers-that-be to detect. These things are barely bigger than a jump drive that you insert in your favorite electronic device. The only evidence that kids have to covertly try to obscure is the impressive cloud of vape smoke their vape pen produces.

    But at least vaping is safer, health-wise, than traditional cigarettes, right? That’s the bill the tobacco industry sold society when the concept of vaping was unleashed. Nicotine addicts could still get their fix, we were told, but without a lot of the other nasty chemicals and carcinogens that are produced when someone takes a drag on a cigarette.

    We dared to dream, though, didn’t we? We’ve since learned that vaping produces far more nicotine than the average cigarette, which isn’t a good thing. Oh, and there are plenty of bad things in that vape smoke, too, that users inhale into their bodies.

    But, no matter. We’re talking about kids here, and every new generation thinks they’re more invincible than the one that came before them. And these kids are vaping...simply because it’s rebellious and it’s cool.

    Is your kid or your student or your player naturally rebellious and a challenger of authority? Don’t be shocked out of your skin if he or she is vaping. Is your kid or your student or your player someone who is orderly, appropriate and typical of someone who’d never think to color outside the lines? Assume nothing. These kids are digging this vaping thing.