As The WHO Pushes Europe Towards Prohibition, Experts Pull It Towards Tobac …

A new paper by the World Health Organization (WHO) reported an increase in alcohol and nicotine use among teenagers in Europe, Central Asia, and Canada. The report also noted a shift in gender trends, where girls are now either matching or surpassing boys in smoking, drinking and vaping, by age 15. This change is noteworthy, given that boys have traditionally drunk and smoked more than girls.

Zooming in on vaping, according to the report 32% of 15-year-olds have tried vapes, with 20% vaping in the last 30 days. Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, emphasized that this is a serious public health threat as the brain continues to developuntil the mid-20s, hence adolescents should be protected from the effects of dangerous products.

An overlooked factor: the increase in vaping corresponds with a decrease in smoking

Meanwhile, the report itself highlights that this surge in e-cigarette use has overtaken smoking, with only 25% of 15-year-olds having tried a traditional cigarette in their lifetime and 15% in the past month. Given that studies have consistently indicated that vapes are significantly safer than regular cigarettes, this latter finding should be considered a positive one. Research has shown that adolescents are inclined to experiment with substances such as nicotine, and in the absence of vaping products, those who are currently vaping would be smoking instead.

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