The number of people enthusiastically smoking vapes and electronics has increased dramatically.
Photo: Oksana ZUYKO
May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. Exactly 10 years ago, the main law of the Russian Federation that protects us from tobacco smoke came into force. Since then, smoking has been prohibited in public places. In 10 years, the number of adolescents who smoke regular cigarettes has been reduced by three times and that of adults by half. These statistics were provided by Professor Galina Sakharova, Senior Researcher at the Department of Public Health and Demography of the Central Research Institute of Health of the Russian Ministry of Health.
Unfortunately, with the advent of the e-cigarette market, the situation has changed: the number of people, especially teenagers, who enthusiastically smoke vapes and e-cigarettes has increased dramatically. In 2011, the number of vapers worldwide did not exceed 5.5 million people. In 2022, this number was 82 million… Sales of electronic cigarettes on the Russian market alone at the end of 2021 amounted to more than 70 billion rubles.
“Today, adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 are the main consumers of nicotine-containing products in the form of vaporizers and e-cigarettes. The growth of its consumption among children is five times greater than among adults. According to surveys and statistics, from 2019 to 2022, adults began to smoke e-cigarettes by 3.5% more, adolescents – by 15-16%,” said Galina Sakharova.
At the same time, children are not embarrassed by the suspicious deaths of their peers after smoking an electronic cigarette. After all, advertising on popular social networks literally calls for smoking vapes, participating in contests from the series “me and my email”.
“TASTY AND HEALTHY”
10 years ago, when electronics were just beginning to enter the market, manufacturers and even doctors literally promoted them as a tobacco substitute, a way to quit smoking. But during this time, there have been many studies that claim that electronic cigarettes are not only not useful, but are often even more harmful than conventional ones.
“At the same time, thanks to their flavors, cheerful colors and even cartoon characters on the packaging, e-cigarettes are still considered harmless pampering among teenagers,” says Viktor Zykov, deputy head of the Department for Prevention of Risk Factors and Communication technologies. in Health Care from the Central Research Institute of Health of the Russian Ministry of Health. – Also, the sweet tastes of fruit flavors create the illusion of some benefit, because fruits are healthy! Therefore, we have now begun to prepare changes to the technical regulations that control the production of nicotine-containing products. In particular, we are compiling a list of flavors that will be prohibited for use in e-cigarettes, mainly “sweet” and fruit flavors. It will also include a list of potentially harmful additives that cannot be used in liquids.
WHAT DOCTORS SAY ABOUT THE DANGERS OF VAPE
– VTsIOM conducted a survey to find out why people choose electronic cigarettes. And in the first place (49% of respondents) is the belief that they cause less harm to health. In the second, the ability to use vaporizers where regular cigarettes cannot be smoked, said Marina Galitskaya, Candidate of Medical Sciences, pediatrician at the National Research Center for Children’s Health of the Russian Ministry of Health. – Unfortunately, little is said about the dangers of vaporizers, and until recently there were many announcements. Therefore, a lot of serious things remain behind the scenes. Meanwhile, statistics show that teens who started vaping were 3.5 times more likely to switch to regular cigarettes than their peers who didn’t try to smoke at all. But vaporizers themselves are far from as harmless as commonly thought:
1. Very often the amount of nicotine in liquids is much higher than indicated on the package (we wrote about this: What are the dangers of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers? Under the guise of combating smoking , young people were put into even more terrible poison – KP.RU)
2. The main components cause asthma and cancer.
Glycerin, the main component of the liquid, at first glance is a harmless substance. Meanwhile, in high concentrations, it causes respiratory tract irritation and even asthma. Irritating to the respiratory tract and the second component – propylene glycol.
And both together under the influence of heat form very toxic elements – formaldehyde and acrolein. Both carcinogens are dangerous: the first affects the nervous system and the psyche, the second provokes the development of cancer.
3. Flavors help nicotine to be absorbed faster.
“Delicious” flavors only create the illusion of safety. In fact, they enhance the irritant effect of propylene glycol, helping nicotine to be absorbed faster. And some contain benzoic acid, which decomposes into benzene, a highly toxic substance.
4. Chromium, zinc, lead, nickel… And 7000 more unknown compounds.
When iron and plastic parts of vaporizers are heated, heavy metals are released: lead, nickel, chromium. And they reach the lungs. And scientists have also discovered another 7,000 unexplored compounds that have no known effect on a teen’s body…
Komsomolskaya Pravda has already described some studies on the harm of vaporizers (They kill the heart, potency and your loved ones: what vaporizers really do to your body – KP.RU)
AND WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Since 2019, when the smoking law on nicotine-containing products (i.e., vaporizers and e-cigarettes) was changed, they were theoretically subject to the same prohibitions as tobacco: they cannot be advertised, sold to minors, or published in the public. domain. But while everyone was fighting covid, everyone somehow forgot about vaping, or rather, they didn’t control them as tightly as tobacco products. Therefore, in social networks for adolescents there was a revelry of electronic advertising.
But on April 28, 2023, additional amendments were adopted:
* the concept of “nicotine-free liquid” is introduced, which will be subject to the same prohibitions (after all, it contains the same dangerous substances and compounds that threaten the health of adolescents);
*A minimum price is introduced for vaporizers. From now on, without discounts, rebates and, consequently, advertising about it;
* distance trading is prohibited on markets and on official websites;
* As of June 1, 2023, vaping and emails should be out of sight, meaning no more flashy storefronts attracting teens. If you see that someone does not comply with the law, you can take a photo of the shop window and send it to Rospotrebnadzor with the address.
* The law also provides for serious fines for selling to minors: for the seller – from 40 to 60 thousand rubles, for a legal entity – from 400 to 600 thousand.
Experts from the Ministry of Health are confident that these measures will help curb the growth of electronic cigarette users. “Understand, smoking is not a habit, but a disease that entails the appearance of even more serious and terrible diseases. And any disease must be fought, treated to maintain health,” said Professor Sakharova.