A generation ago, the scent of tobacco left on clothes at the end of a night out soon alerted parents: their teenager was trying his hand at cigarettes and it was time for a serious discussion with him. From now on, they are sometimes deprived of this index.
→ DEBATE. Are electronic cigarettes dangerous?
Also, according to an American study conducted among 23,000 young people aged 12 to 17 and published recently, those who “vapot” much more easily deceive the vigilance of their parents than those who smoke at the same age, because the electronic cigarette does not leave necessarily a suspicious smell behind it. But if, at 17, they are only 1.6% to vape daily, according to the latest count from the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction, this number is increasing every year.
This result comes as no surprise to Dr Olivier Phan, an addictologist at the French Student Health Foundation. “The electronic cigarette is not a product resulting from the combustion of tobacco, he explains. Each contains nicotine and fragrances. The process consists of heating them in order to obtain a scented vapor that can be inhaled. “
It can be a “tobacco” flavor, of course, but also “banana” or “cotton candy”, which you can change as you wish. Nearly half of the “vapers” thus admitted, in a survey published last year, to be adept at several flavors, particularly fruity. What to get lost there then.
→ INVESTIGATION. Still children, already customers
Should parents worry about not knowing anything? From a health standpoint, the dangers of electronic cigarettes are not clearly established. A vagueness reigns in particular on the composition of the perfumes, very variable from one brand to another.
An ANSES study, published on October 28, also points to the presence of prohibited substances in certain electronic cigarettes. Above all, these can be a gateway to tobacco, “Which is infinitely more dangerous, Olivier Phan alert. The risk of electronic cigarettes is creating nicotine poisoning and addiction for young people who were not previously smokers. “
In our opinion
More than ever, parents are dependent on what their children want to tell them. It is therefore better to take the lead and create a climate of dialogue. In order to determine whether their child vapes regularly or from time to time and to send prevention messages.
More so, parents need to set a good example. The American study confirms that the best way to fight against cigarettes, whether electronic or not, is to clearly ban tobacco from the house. In short, not to smoke yourself.