Gen Z Shuns Vaping After Public Knowledge that Children are Exploited to make Batteries for Vaping Device

An Unlikely Catalyst:

Generation Z, known for its association with vaping, is making an unexpected shift, not due to health concerns but as a show of solidarity with the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The love of vaping among the younger generation has raised global concerns, leading to the imminent removal of disposable vapes in the UK to prevent youth addiction.

However, a more profound cause has emerged, prompting socially conscious youths to quit their nicotine devices.

Cobalt Demand and Humanitarian Crisis:

Recognizing the humanitarian crisis in the DRC exacerbated by the growing demand for cobalt, a key resource concentrated in the Congo and used in lithium-powered batteries, Gen Z is taking action.

Disposable vapes are a significant contributor to this demand, prompting protestors to quit vaping to reduce the need for cobalt in the Congo. The process is being shared and tracked on social media platforms.

The Dark Side of Cobalt Mining:

Cobalt, a vital element in lithium-powered batteries, is found in almost every tech gadget on the market. Despite claims of ethical sourcing by companies, evidence suggests otherwise.

Disturbing images from inside DRC mines, where 90 percent of the world’s cobalt is extracted, reveal harsh working conditions, toxic environments, and exploitation of labor, including children earning a mere 8p a day.

Gen Z’s Response and Social Media Advocacy:

Understanding the link between cobalt mining in the DRC and their fondness for lithium-fueled vapes, Generation Z is actively participating in the movement.

Advocates on platforms like TikTok share videos explaining the cause and encouraging others to quit vaping. Social media users have embraced the cause, posting updates on their progress in solidarity with the people of the Congo.

Voices on Social Media:

On various platforms, individuals express their commitment to quitting vaping for the sake of Congo.

Some tie their decision to concerns about the humanitarian crisis, emphasizing the connection between vapes, cobalt, and the ongoing challenges faced by the people in the Congo.

This unexpected shift in behavior showcases the power of a collective and socially aware generation.


While health concerns may not have been enough to deter Generation Z from vaping, the connection to a global humanitarian crisis has become a compelling reason for many to quit.

The movement highlights the potential impact of collective actions driven by social consciousness, as Gen Z redirects its focus from personal habits to global issues.

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