Until fairly recently, little research has been conducted on the use of tobacco and related products at EDM parties. However, a 2020 study published by PubMed Central dove into this topic and found some disturbing links. Specifically, the study found that among EDM party attendees, estimates of the prevalence of “last month and past month use” of tobacco and nicotine products (such as cigarettes and cigarettes or vapes) were more than double those of the general population. Just over 59% of EDM party attendees surveyed had ever used cigarettes (36.2% in the previous month to this date) and 40.5% had used e-cigarettes (15.6% in the month previous to this date).
This research was done in part to “help design preventative measures with MRE participants.” And that of course raises the question of what the industry (including venues, party planners and even entertainers) could do to curb the use of harmful tobacco products.
Some of this will likely be supported by bans and restrictions beyond the scope of EDM. Last year, Politico reported an FDA ban on more than five million e-cigarette products. The same report noted that the FDA has delayed decisions on some of the biggest names in the industry (like Juul and NJOY). But the table has clearly been set for a broader ban on vaping products –– which, over time, could make them illegal in some large venues and at some major events.
At the same time, however, there are also alternative products that, if sold at EDM parties, could help reduce the negative first-hand and second-hand health effects caused by cigarettes and vapes. Namely, we would point out three products:
Nicotine gum – Nicotine gum has long been an option to help people who want to quit smoking. However, it can also satisfy short-term nicotine cravings. Typically, the product is chewed until the user tastes the flavor, then lodged against the gums until the flavor wears off, and so on. This provides nicotine and reduces the urge to smoke, and would allow EDM party attendees to enjoy the shows without turning to cigarettes or vapes.
Nicotine sachets – Nicotine pouches are newer to the US market, but work much like gum –– without the chewing (and arguably with more interesting flavor ranges). The sachets are simply kept inside the upper lip and left alone to release the nicotine in a controlled and gradual manner. These products also have the advantage of being somewhat “uphill”, which may make them more appealing to EDM audiences than gum. According to a snapshot of the nicotine pouch trend at Prilla, pouch sales had already surpassed $200 million in 2020, and some convenience stores had reported up to 40% growth in the category year-on-year. These numbers point to a product that is already heading towards supplanting e-cigarettes for some users and could therefore be an intriguing alternative at big music shows and parties.
Hemp cigarettes – Smokable hemp has also become an intriguing option. Hemp cigarettes look and work like regular cigarettes, but contain CBD rather than tobacco (or nicotine or marijuana for that matter). They don’t satisfy cravings the way chewing gum or nicotine pouches do, but they can provide users with alternatives –– as well as solving the dilemma that some smokers simply want something to eat. do during an event (i.e. the physical act of smoking). In addition, they are also “trendy” products that can appeal to the public. While not quite keeping pace with nicotine pouches, hemp cigarettes in the United States were an $80 million market in 2020, with projections of around $300-400 million in revenue. here 2025.
The nature of EDM parties is not going to change. As made clear in our own “Parties” section here at Groove Cartel, these events happen frequently and always attract the biggest names in the genre – from David Guetta to the Swedish House Mafia. These are great festive raves where people want to “let loose” and have fun without complex.
This, within reason, should be encouraged. But given the clear link between these parties and the use of cigarettes and vaping, there is also something to be said for fighting for a healthier environment. Alternatives like the ones suggested above could be offered at these parties without detracting from the atmosphere or the fun.