WHO Report Shows Alarming Increase in Youth E-cigarette Use

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WHO Report Shows Alarming Increase in Youth E-cigarette Use
WHO report raises concerns as youth e-cigarette users surpass smokers. Action called to regulate e-cigarette marketing targeting young people.

According to a report from VapingPost on May 14th, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a report showing that the number of adolescent e-cigarette users has surpassed smokers. The report expresses concern about this phenomenon.

WHO Report Shows Alarming Increase in Youth E-cigarette Use


The survey, entitled "Health Behavior in School-aged Children" (HBSC), aims to monitor substance use among 11, 13, and 15-year-old adolescents from 44 countries and regions in Europe, Central Asia, and Canada, including smoking, e-cigarette use, alcohol, and cannabis. This survey is conducted every four years. The latest survey data is from the period of 2021 to 2022, and the results show that e-cigarette use has surpassed traditional tobacco use.


According to the study, among 11-year-old teenagers, the proportion who have smoked at least one cigarette in the past 30 days is 2%, while the proportion who have used an e-cigarette is 2.5%. For 13-year-olds, these proportions are 5.5% and 9%, and for 15-year-olds, they are 15% and 19.5% respectively.


The World Health Organization has expressed concern over this situation, calling for special attention to the issue of e-cigarettes and recommending a "ban or strong regulation" on their use, as e-cigarettes are primarily marketed towards youth. The organization also proposes taking action by "banning advertisements, promotions, and various flavored e-liquids, to reduce the accessibility of e-cigarettes to young people.


The World Health Organization maintains its stance against e-cigarettes and has outlined a precise increase in the number of young people using e-cigarettes. However, their description of regular smokers is more vague, only noting a decrease in the "number of smokers in people's lives." To obtain specific data, one must look at the report's appendix and compare it to the previous survey. The appendix indicates that the percentage of 15-year-olds smoking has decreased from 28% in 2018 to 25% in 2022, a decrease of nearly 11%.


Some observers criticize a recent report that despite numerous scientific studies verifying that e-cigarettes pose less harm to health than traditional tobacco, the World Health Organization has chosen to condemn e-cigarettes. The rise of e-cigarettes may not only lead more young people to nicotine through e-cigarettes instead of traditional tobacco, but also potentially decrease the number of young people who have tried smoking. In other words, young people are increasingly leaning towards choosing relatively healthy options when experimenting with substances, and the WHO should welcome this result rather than criticize it.


The World Health Organization strongly opposes e-cigarettes, believing they are primarily designed to entice young people into addiction to nicotine products. The World Health Organization encourages countries looking to combat smoking to support alternative nicotine delivery methods.


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