Today, it is no longer disputed that smoking and cigarettes are harmful to both active and passive smokers. This is a fact, already known to the public and professionals. What is less known, though, concerns new smoking products and is indeed worth knowing. In recent years, the traditional cigarette has declined, whereas, as a new variety of smoking and tobacco products began flooding the market. Studies have already shown the dangers of using them, but sometimes the regulation restricting their marketing lags behind.
The new players in the arena of tobacco and smoking products can be divided into 3 main types:
- Heated tobacco cigarettes - a non-combustible cigarette that contains a heating source and tobacco. The tobacco leaf is heated to a temperature that does not create combustion, but a spray for inhalation by the user.
- Refillable electronic cigarette - an electronic product that vaporizes liquid from a refillable cartridge so that vapor is inhaled through the device mouthpiece.
- Disposable electronic cigarette - an e-cigarette with a liquid container that cannot be not refilled.
In recent years, the most prominent product in this category is e-cigarettes, whether refillable or disposable, both designed as a coveted and "advanced" gadget, and contain a multi-component vaping liquid, which usually includes addictive and toxic nicotine, and a variety of sweet flavors (apples, strawberries, peaches, and sweets) to create the appearance of an innocent, childish and attractive product. These products challenge the prevailing perception of smoking and the past dominant product, the cigarette: 'Cigarette? It disgusts me'.
Let's shatter some common myths:
- "Electronic cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes". Wrong. In recent years, an extensive research body has accumulated, indicating many and severe health damages are caused by the product.
- "Electronic cigarettes help with withdrawal and detoxification". Wrong. Studies have already refuted this claim. Actually, the transition from traditional cigarette smoking to electronic cigarettes not only does not contribute to smoking cessation, it delays the rehabilitation. It has also been proved that smoking electronic cigarettes is a gateway to the world of traditional cigarettes for teens and young adults.
Among Jewish adolescents in Israel:
- 24% have experienced electronic cigarette smoking.
- 18.6% of teenagers chose electronic-cigarette as the first smoking product they experienced.
- 120% increase was recorded in electronic cigarette smoking between April 2018 and April 2021.
- 8.2% use electronic cigarettes on a regular basis.
- 46.8% purchase the smoking products themselves, despite the ban on selling the products to minors.
- 19.3% purchase them at grocery stores or a kiosk.
Why do electronic cigarettes pose a unique threat?
- It is a product that disguises its dangers behind an innocent appearance.
- Since it is a new product, related regulation is falling behind.
- Disposable electronic cigarettes deceive the youth into thinking that it is a one-time experience, but it soon becomes many "one-time" experiences - and then an addiction.
- One disposable electronic cigarette can contain an inhalation amount equal to 4-8 of traditional cigarette packs.
- The prices of electronic cigarettes are attractive.
How can we protect children and adolescents from the risks?
- By reading and edcuating about the effects of electronic cigarettes.
- By offering all facts about the product to children and adolescents, in a tailored manner.
- By setting an example.