Teens prefer electronic cigarettes - Focus.it

Teens prefer electronic cigarettes – Focus.it

Less smoke, but more vape: teenagers tend to prefer electronic cigarettes over traditional ones. To say it is a study by the Institute of Clinical Physiology of the Cnr on the habits of adolescents in Europe between conventional cigarettes and e-cigmade with data from ESPAD 2019, the largest European research that has been evaluating the habits of young people on the use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal substances among students aged 15 to 16 in 35 European countries for 10 years.

Vaping is in fashion. It is good news? Not as it might seem. Studies in the recent past have shown that e-cigarettes are no more effective than other methods of quitting smoking and combating nicotine addiction. There is also another aspect: some research tells us that excessive use of e-cigarettes can contribute to developing chronic lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis or emphysema, which can increase the risk of suffering from severe forms of CoVid-19.

Returning to the research data, on the one hand there is a general decline in the use of traditional cigarettes among adolescents, presumable outcome of the prevention and contrast policies implemented in the majority of countries, on the other hand the data relating to the use of electronic cigarette highlight a worrying scenario. “In 2019, 40.6% of the approximately 100,000 ESPAD students declared that they had tried the traditional cigarette at least once and 19.3% that they were current smokers, with percentages between 5.1% in Iceland and 32, 4% in Italy. On the other hand, 37.8% report having tried the electronic cigarette and the current vapers are 12.4% (13.4% in Italy) », says Sonia Cerrai, CNR researcher and author of the study. She adds: “It is reasonable to assume that the approach of young people to new smoking habits will continue to grow, both for ease of availability and for the belief that these methods are risk-free”.

The use of electronic cigarettes has in fact already surpassed traditional smoking in 10 of the 35 countries analyzed. “Although electronic cigarettes may not necessarily contain nicotine, it is true that these technological devices of great appeal among young and very young people are often used concurrently with traditional cigarettes, with a range that goes from 2% in Cyprus to 15%. in Monaco of the sample (8.9% in Italy) », continues Cerrai.

Anti-smoking vs marketing policies. But what government tobacco control policies are helping to turn teens away from cigarettes? “The price increase shows significant associations with the decrease of both forms of smoking; higher spending on information and disincentive campaigns is associated with traditional smoking alone, while in countries where more is invested in smoking advertising bans, there are lower percentages of current use of electronic cigarettes “.

Cerrai concludes: “Marketing pushes to reduce the risks related to exposure to tobacco smoke, but this radical change in consumption could induce confusion in young people, even if they have well received the prevention programs and projects implemented over the last 20 years”.

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