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Call to limit vaping ads to safeguard teenagers

Thursday July 30th 2020

Steps must be taken to stem the growth in e-cigarette use among teenagers, European experts say today.

A position paper of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC), a branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), calls on regulators to protect young people by limiting sales and advertising and banning sweet flavours that teenagers believe are less harmful.

The call comes as the paper, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, said e-cigarettes raise blood pressure and heart rate, increase atherosclerosis and inhibit the function of blood vessels by damaging their lining – all of which are risk factors for blood clots and fatty build-up inside artery walls.

The researchers add that a study published last year found a link between e-cigarettes and heart attacks, while further evidence is emerging that vaping affects the lungs and is detrimental to a foetus. Other early research indicates that e-cigarettes could cause cancer.

However, the paper says it is not yet clear if e-cigarettes can help people to stop smoking tobacco as results have been conflicting.

Despite concerns, studies have shown that the number of young people using e-cigarette has grown from 5% in 2013 to nearly 25% in 2018.

Senior author Professor Maja-Lisa Løchen of UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, said: “When these studies are pooled together it does not show that e-cigarettes are more effective than conventional, well-tested stop smoking methods.

“In addition, people who use e-cigarettes for smoking cessation often end up being double consumers of both traditional tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

“Vaping is marketed towards teenagers and the tobacco industry uses celebrities to promote it as being healthier than smoking. Legislation on the marketing and sales of e-cigarettes varies enormously between countries.

“Action is urgently needed to halt the growing use in young people. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that e-cigarettes are harmful to health.”

Kavousi M, Pisinger C, Barthelemy JC, et al. Electronic cigarettes and health with special focus on cardiovascular effects: position paper of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC). Eur J Prev Cardiol 30 July 2020

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487320941993

Tags: Drug & Alcohol Abuse | Europe | Heart Health | Infancy to Adolescence

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