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Urgent Action Needed To Protect Youth From E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes generate an aerosol by heating liquid containing nicotine- the addictive ingredient found in normal cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products – flavorings and other chemicals that aid in the production of the aerosol. Individuals breathe in this aerosol. When the user exhales into the air, bystanders may also inhale this aerosol. Controlling e-cigarettes is necessary to protect children as well as non-smokers and reduce public health risks. Rather, concerning data on detrimental impacts on public health has surfaced.


E-cigarettes are now legally available for purchase and are heavily promoted among young people. Thirty four nations forbid the sale of e-cigarettes, eighty-eight countries do not set a minimum age for purchasing e-cigarettes, and seventy-four do not have any regulations or laws governing these dangerous goods.

The Director General of WHO, doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated, “Kids are being recruited and trapped at an early age to consume e-cigarettes and may become addicted to nicotine.” he urges governments to enact strict preventive steps to protect their citizens, particularly children, and youth.

Effects of e-cigarettes

Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are highly addictive and are dangerous to one’s health. Although the long-term implications are not entirely understood, it is known that they generate hazardous compounds, some of which have been causing cancer and others which raise the risk of heart and lung disorders. For young people, e-cigarette use can potentially hurt brain development and result in learning disorders. Pregnant mothers who expose their fetuses to e-cigarettes run the risk of their fetuses developing negatively. Bystander exposure to e-cigarette fumes is also dangerous.

Targeting children

“Social media targets the young generation by promoting the consumption of e-cigarettes and also with 16000 flavors. Younger consumers will find certain of these products appealing since they have slick designs and feature cartoon characters.” According to the director of WHO for health promotion, “there is an alarming increase in the consumption of e-cigarettes in youth and children, with an increase in the rate of adult use in many countries.”

In all WHO regions, the rate of e-cigarette use among children aged 13-15 is higher than that of adults. Between 2017 and 2022, the rate of consumption among 16 to 19-year-olds in Canada doubled, and in England [the United Kingdom], in the last three years, the number of teenage users has tripled.

Social media effect

Positive views regarding e-cigarettes and an increased intention to the consumption of these products can be linked to even a brief exposure to e-cigarette information on social media. Research continuously demonstrates that youth e-cigarette users are nearly three times more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.

Given national circumstances, immediate actions are required to stop the adoption of e-cigarettes and combat nicotine addiction in addition to a comprehension tobacco control strategy.

Need for control

Cessation techniques, like other tobacco control initiatives, should be based on the best available evidence of efficacy and subject to monitoring and review. Based on the available research, it is not advised that governments allow the sale of e-cigarettes as consumer products in order to achieve a cessation goal. Any government that uses e-cigarettes as part of a smoking cessation program should regulate the items as medicines and manage the circumstances in which they are assessed to guarantee appropriate clinical conditions [including obtaining marketing authorization as medicines].

Even in such a controlled setting, the choice to pursue a smoking cessation goal should only be taken after taking into account the national context, as well as the risk of uptake, and after exhausting all other established cessation strategies.

Health destroyer

The tobacco business profits from the destruction of health and it is exploiting these newer products to get a seat at the policy-making table with governments in order to lobby against health policies. To claim that these products lessen harm, the tobacco industry finances and spreads false information, all the while heavily endorsing these products to minors and non-smokers and continuing to sell billions of smokes.
Based on the rising body of evidence regarding e-cigarette usage and health consequences, strong and decisive action is required to prevent their uptake.

Source: PsychoLogs