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Since their appearance, electronic and disposable “Puff” cigarettes have increasingly attracted young people despite the ban on sales to minors. Several doctors warn about its harmful effects on health and the environment. In a forum, they ask for its ban.
Mint, red fruits, apple, lychee, mojito… the Puffs are now available in several flavors. Very affordable (around 9 euros), many college and high school students do not hesitate to rob tobacco shops to get some. With the increase this May 1st in the price of a pack of tobacco, the current craze for these disposable vapers will probably not stop. A trend that worries doctors and associations who denounce “an environmental and health scourge” in a column on April 30.
“A sneaky trap for children and teenagers”
In the newspaper The world, a collective made up of doctors, tobacco specialists and climate defenders, published a forum for the government. The goal: to call on the state to urgently ban the Puff cigarette. According to the signatories of this forum, vapers present a health hazard.
According to the latest figures published by the French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Tendencies (OFDT)the use of these Puffs has tripled between 2017 and 2022. And according to a survey by the ACT-Alliance Against Tobacco quoted by the collective in the forum, more than 13% of adolescents in France have revealed that they have already used it.
For the National Academy of Medicine, these products are a “sneaky trap for kids and teens”. In their press release published last February, the sages recall that: “The nicotine level – which can be up to 20 milligrams per milliliter – present in the puff can create a strong addiction and constitute a gateway to smoking” and “some ‘Puffs’ can indeed contain up to 5% nicotine”.
Puff: a health and ecological hazard
In the forum, the collective also denounces the harmful effects of Puffs for the planet and biodiversity. Indeed, Puff waste is much more toxic than cigarette butts because of its composition: plastic, a battery containing lithium, traces of heavy metals and nicotine salts. As the collective specifies in their forum, these vapers become “complex waste, poorly collected, not recycled” And “whose components can pollute soils, groundwater and oceans”.
The doctors and associations that have signed this forum are therefore calling for support for the bill to ban disposable electronic cigarettes tabled in the National Assembly in November 2022.
Youth vaping: Australia cracks down
As of May 1, 2023, the Australian government is tightening its policy on teen vaping. “Vaping has become the number one behavioral problem in high schools. And it is spreading in primary schools”, explains Mark Butler, the Minister of Health in Australia. He also accuses the tobacco industry of wanting to create “a new generation of nicotine addicts”.
Faced with this enthusiasm among young people, the Australian Minister of Health has therefore announced strict new measures concerning electronic cigarettes: the cessation of imports of versions available without a prescription and the restriction of the quantity of nicotine in e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes will therefore be marketed only on prescription, as an alternative to quit smoking.
“Vaping has been sold to governments and the world as a therapeutic product to help long-time smokers quit. It does not have to be marketed as a recreational product, especially not for our children”says the Minister of Health.
Packets of tobacco soon at 11 euros
Since Monday, May 1, some tobacco packages are subject to a price increase (between 10 and 60 cents). From now on, the prices of the packages are very close to 11 euros. Some packages have even already passed the 11 euro mark, such as the Marlboro or the Lucky Strike. This price increase concerns standard packs of 20 cigarettes. The 30g packets of rolling tobacco are also affected: an increase of around 30 cents. With this price increase, the craze for vapers and particularly Puffs, is likely to continue to grow.