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The use of cigarettes is decreasing worldwide while the use of vaping and e-cigarettes is increasing rapidly.
Science & Health

The use of cigarettes is decreasing worldwide while the use of vaping and e-cigarettes is increasing rapidly.

Although recent data indicates a decrease in global smoking rates, the World Health Organization cautions that this positive trend is being overshadowed by a concerning increase in the usage of e-cigarettes and vaping devices, particularly among young individuals.

“The rise in numbers over the past four to five years is concerning. This is why we are sounding the alarm,” stated Ruediger Krech, WHO’s director of health promotion.

“In a couple of countries, we see huge increases in the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. We see a 150% increase in the U.K. and in the U.S. We also see an uptick in double-digit numbers of vaping among children,” he said.

FILE - So far, investigators have not identified a particular device, liquid or ingredient behind the U.S. outbreak of severe vaping-related illnesses.

At this time, investigators have not determined a specific device, liquid, or ingredient responsible for the surge of vaping-related illnesses in the United States.

Krech alleges that the tobacco industry is using deceitful methods to entice a future generation of youth to become addicted to tobacco, by promoting new products and targeting children as young as 8 years old with e-cigarettes and vapers.

“He stated that, in his opinion, your actions leading to death could be considered criminal.”

Effective measures for controlling tobacco.

According to national surveys, a significant number of children between 13 and 15 years old in various countries are using tobacco and other nicotine products. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that approximately 37 million children in this age range are currently using tobacco, and many countries have discovered high rates of e-cigarette usage among teenagers.

The rate of this phenomenon is increasing as recent data suggests that efforts towards regulating tobacco are proving successful. The World Health Organization reports that 1.25 billion adults worldwide are tobacco consumers.

The most recent figures from the World Health Organization’s global report on tobacco use trends from 2000-2030, released on Tuesday, reveal a continued decrease in the rate of tobacco use globally. The statistics indicate that approximately one-fifth of adults worldwide used tobacco in 2022, compared to one-third in 2000.

Krech stated that there has been a decrease of approximately 19 million tobacco users worldwide within the past two years. This decline occurred despite the global population increasing by approximately 149 million adults during the same time frame.

According to him, 150 countries are currently experiencing a decrease in tobacco consumption, and 56 of them are on track to reach the global goal of reducing tobacco use by 30% by 2025.

The tobacco industry focuses on Africa.

The Southeast Asian region has the highest percentage of tobacco users according to WHO’s report, at 26.5%, with the European region following closely at 25.3%. The report also highlights that the rate of female tobacco users in Europe is more than twice the global average for women.

At present, the report states that the greatest declines in tobacco consumption are occurring among countries in the lower middle-income category. The African region has the lowest rates of smoking, with a decrease from approximately 18% in 2000 to less than 10% in 2022.

According to Krech, the tobacco industry is focusing on Africa because it has the lowest prevalence of tobacco use. They are attempting to expand their business and are using tactics such as influencing government policies.

According to Krech, Africa is a relatively new continent, which means that when they select their targets, they are aware that they may be able to maintain a presence there for an extended period.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on nations to combat interference from the tobacco industry by implementing strict policies for tobacco control, such as levying taxes on tobacco, prohibiting tobacco advertisements, and regulating sales.

Krech emphasized the crucial need for countries that have not prohibited e-cigarettes to implement strict regulations to prevent children from obtaining them.

He cautioned that the tobacco industry was enticing young individuals to become addicted to nicotine, a highly addictive substance, through the promotion of e-cigarettes.

He stated that there are numerous e-cigarettes with flavors such as vanilla ice cream and gummy bears available for purchase, which may be appealing to children. Therefore, we strongly suggest implementing a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes.

The World Health Organization states that tobacco smoking is the primary reason for preventable fatalities and illnesses globally. It is estimated that tobacco use results in approximately 8 million deaths annually, and it is linked to various health issues such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems, and diabetes.