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“Virtual reality game is an effective tool for vaping prevention among teens,” say researchers at Yale who have found yet another way to make ecigs look cool to kids

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“Virtual reality game is an effective tool for vaping prevention among teens,” say researchers at Yale who have found yet another way to make ecigs look cool to kids. The United Kingdom doesn’t engage in the war against vaping and flavours has almost zero non-smoking teens taking up vaping. The USA, with its cartoons, free T-shirts, sponsored competitions, and now video games, is finding solutions for problems of its own making.

Yale says: “Yale researchers have developed an immersive, virtual reality video game that helps teens learn about the dangers of e-cigarettes and practice strategies for refusing them.”

This sounds more exciting than anything currently available for PlayStation or Xbox.

The team state (1):

  • E-cigarette use among youth is on the rise – it isn’t
  • They are the most popular smoking product used by students – it’s not a smoking product
  • Approximately half of teenagers between 14-18 years old have tried an e-cigarette once – so? They probably had a drink too but aren’t alcoholics
  • Many teens are unaware of the long-lasting effects nicotine can have – so are the researchers from this research paper

Furthermore,” they write, “90% of adults who smoke combustible cigarettes started before turning 18, an ominous sign that teenagers now vaping might also vape or smoke well into adulthood.”

Remember, this statement came from people working at one of America’s most prestigious universities. The gaping holes in the logic are truly woeful to behold.

They have created Invite Only VR: A Vaping Prevention Game, where kids are thrust into a virtual ninth grade, join a small group of “nerdy” friends, and have to befriend “the popular senior in their health class and get invited to his exclusive party”.

They’ll certainly prefer this to playing Call Of Duty or doing double Math on a Friday afternoon.

Along the way, gamers experience peer pressure from classmates about trying e-cigarettes and learn alongside their virtual friends about the dangers of their use.”

Have they not seen the “How do you do, fellow kids” memes?

As the game progresses, you learn more and more strategies to refuse e-cigarettes while still preserving your ‘coolness’ and dignity as a high school student so that you can secure this invitation to the party. It’s really all about social interactions regarding e-cigarettes,” says lead author Veronica Weser.

She added: “We think these findings are really exciting because two hours playing a video game can affect you six months down the road.”

This must be true, which is why loads of kids grow up to jack cars and drive them out of the rear of planes having played Grand Theft Auto – or chopping people in York with axes because they enjoyed Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

It is likely that the children had more puerile fun from the name of one of the researchers: Mr. Schartmann.


  1. Evaluation of a virtual reality E-cigarette prevention game for adolescents –

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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