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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

World No Tobacco Day


Fri 31 May 2024 | 12:28 AM
Dr. Magdy Badran
Dr. Magdy Badran
Dr. Magdy Badran

World No Tobacco Day) WNTD (is celebrated around the world every year on May 31. Over 40 million young people aged 13-15 have already started to use tobacco.

Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference

This theme of WNTD 2024 is focused on advocating for an end to the targeting of youth with harmful tobacco products. Every year the tobacco industry invests more than USD 9 billion to advertise its products. Increasingly, it is targeting young people with nicotine and tobacco products in a bid to replace the 8 million people who get killed every year as a result of tobacco use.

Youth- Tobacco Industry’s New Target

The tobacco industry is targeting youth. To keep making billions of dollars in revenues, the tobacco industry needs to replace the millions of customers who die and those who quit tobacco use every year. To achieve this goal, it works to create an environment that promotes uptake of its products among the next generation, including lax regulation to ensure its products are available and affordable. The industry also develops products and advertising tactics that appeal to children and adolescents, reaching them through social media and streaming platforms.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS), commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, are gaining popularity among youth. E-cigarettes are particularly risky when used by children and adolescents. Nicotine is highly addictive and young people’s brains develop up to their mid-twenties.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a type of electronic nicotine delivery system that when activated, vaporizes, and delivers inhalable liquid (e-fluid). The e-fluid contains glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, and other substances and may or may not contain nicotine in varying concentrations. These materials, when inhaled and/or ingested, pose significant health risks to children and adolescents, including nicotine, a major ingredient found in many e-fluid solutions. Of particular importance with the nicotine found in e-fluids are variations in concentration per refill solution and the significant discrepancy between actual and labelled concentrations.

In addition to nicotine, other ingredients found in e-cigarette devices are harmful to child health and include glycerin, propylene glycol, aldehydes, metals, tobacco-specific alkaloids, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The most popular solvents found in e-fluid are glycerin and propylene glycol. When the user initiates inhalation of the e-cigarette device, the heating element raises the temperature of the e-fluid, which in turn, activates changes to the composition of the liquids, forming potentially toxic compounds including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde are widely published as Group 2A and 2B carcinogens, respectively.

A nicotine concentration of 10 mg is considered a lethal dose in child and adolescent exposures (a dose of 6.5 mg/kg to 13 mg/kg is fatal in adults); considering the average e-fluid refill container of 10 mL with a reported 20 mg/mL level of nicotine, ingestion of this fluid by a child would exceed lethal concentrations.

In addition to the known adverse health effects of nicotine and other toxic exposures found in e-fluid for youth, the potential risk of serious injury or death among children from poisoning from contact with the e-fluid is high.

Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a serious health problem. It can cause or make worse a wide range of damaging health effects in children and adults, including lung cancer, respiratory infections, and asthma.

There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and even short-term exposure potentially can increase the risk of heart attacks.

Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide.

Vape aerosol contains a number of harmful substances, including nicotine, ultrafine particles, and various other toxins including several cancer-causing agents. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand vape aerosol absorb similar levels of nicotine as people exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke. Along with nicotine, nonvapers are also exposed to ultrafine particles from secondhand vape aerosol, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Secondhand vape aerosol also contains several known carcinogens that may increase the risk of certain cancers. These carcinogens include lead, formaldehyde, and toluene.

Tips to Keep Kids and Teens from Smoking and Vaping

As a parent, you’re a powerful influence — even if your teenager seems to disagree with everything you say.

Maintain a dialogue. Start early. Begin talking with your kids about smoking and vaping in kindergarten. Be honest and open to seeing things from your child’s point of view. And don’t stop. Keep the conversation going as kids get older.

Know the symptoms of nicotine addiction. Common signs of vaping addiction include an inability to stop vaping or feeling anxious or irritable due to cravings when not vaping.

Educate your child about vaping and smoking. Symptoms of many smoking-related illnesses tend to develop in middle or later life. Trying to explain the long-term risks of smoking to a child or teenager may not have much of an impact, as 20 or 30 years or more into the future is an unimaginable time to them. Mention the long-term risks but try to talk more about the risks to their health and wellbeing right now.

Think more than cigarettes. Explain that smokeless tobacco, hookah, and e-cigarettes all have dangers, including nicotine addiction.

Teen vaping can be influenced by several sources of information, including marketing, family, peers, and the internet. Prepare your kids for peer pressure. Discuss what they might say if a friend offers a cigarette or e-cigarette.

Set a good example. If you smoke or vape, the best thing you can do is quit. At least don’t smoke around your children.

Establish a smoke-free home. Don’t allow family members or friends to smoke in your home or car. Make sure the places where your child spends a lot of time are tobacco-free.

If your child has started smoking or vaping, try to learn why. This may help you talk with him or her more effectively. Instead of punishment, offer understanding and help to resist the dangerous lure of tobacco use and addiction.

Focus on health. Help teens use their holiday break to focus on eating well, getting exercise, and spending time with people who support them and their goals.

Thanks a lot.

Dr Magdy badran