More children using e-cigarettes than adults

More children using e-cigarettes than adults

The World Health Organization has warned against the high usage of e-cigarettes among children. 

Woman smoking electronic cigarette
Woman smoking electronic cigarette /iStock

There has been an increase in the number of children smoking e-cigarettes. 

According to a report by the World Health Organization published on December 14, the number of children smoking e-cigarettes is higher than adults. 

The organization is calling for governments to take urgent action 'to control e-cigarettes to protect children, as well as non-smokers and minimize health harms to the population.'

It states that in some countries, there is no minimum age at which e-cigarettes can be bought, and children are also being targeted. 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, says, "Kids are being recruited and trapped at an early age to use e-cigarettes and may get hooked to nicotine."

READ: Expert explains how you take in more nicotine with e-cigarettes and vapes

Another WHO Director for Health Promotion, Dr Ruediger Krech says, “E-cigarettes target children through social media and influencers, with at least 16 000 flavours. Some of these products use cartoon characters and have sleek designs, which appeal to the younger generation"

Dr Krech says the number of children using e-cigarretes is alarming. In fact, according to the publication, 'children 13–15-years old are using e-cigarettes at rates higher than adults in all WHO regions'.

 "There is an alarming increase in the use of e-cigarettes among children and young people with rates exceeding adult use in many countries,” Dr Ruediger Krech, 

Ghebreyesus has asked countries to step in and put strict measures to ensure children do not use e-cigarettes. 

 "I urge countries to implement strict measures to prevent uptake to protect their citizens, especially their children and young people.”

READ: England set to light up e-cigs on prescription for smokers

According to the CDC, e-cigarettes are dangerous because 'most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive and toxic to developing fetuses.'

The publication also says nicotine can 'harm adolescent and young adult brain development'. Also, 'E-cigarette aerosol can contain chemicals that are harmful to the lungs'.  

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @Igor Ilkov

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