MORE teenagers in the Valencian Community are vaping as opposed to smoking tobacco according to a study from the AECC cancer charity in the region.
The AECC says that the use of electronic cigarettes has exceeded that of tobacco by 5%.
46.3% of Valencian students between 14 and 18 years old have consumed electronic cigarettes (EC) compared to 41.7% who have tried tobacco in 2022.
Teenage vaping has grown by over a quarter since 2014 and is seen as more dangerous since there is no perception of risk associated with the consumption of electronic cigarettes, vapers or hookahs.
Valencia AECC president, Tomas Trenor, said: “Only 16.2% of students who vape associate it with many or quite a few health problems, and among those who do not consume EC, the percentage barely amounts to 20.6%.”
“Regardless of whether they are used with nicotine release or not, their appearance, presentation, and form of consumption is very similar to that of the traditional cigarette, as they contain toxic and carcinogenic elements and perpetuate smoking behaviour which feeds an urge as causing psychological addiction.”
One myth is that vapes and electronic cigarettes are a substitute for tobacco or a method to quit smoking.
According to the Ministry of Health, 87.8% of high school students who smoke daily consume, in turn, electronic cigarettes.
In fact, 44.5% of those who have smoked in the last month, vape with nicotine cartridges.
There are concerns that the tobacco industry is trying to lure in new smokers via vaping as Natalia Ruiz, coordinator of the Health Promotion Unit of Contra el Cancer Valencia, explains:
“There is an interest on the part of the tobacco industries to differentiate the new forms of consumption from traditional tobacco: in fact, the term vaper arises to distinguish it from electronic cigarettes and allude to the safety of water vapor.”
“The reality is that these devices contain toxic elements and carcinogenic compounds that are already causing lung diseases and could be the cause of various types of tumors, such as lung, kidney or bladder cancer. ” Ruiz warned.
AECC Valencia has now launched a campaign called ‘For 7 Reasons Take Off The Blindfold’, which aims to warn about the toxicity and harmful consequences of electronic cigarettes, vapers and hookahs.
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