Swiss Anti-Addiction Group Raises Alarm About Teen Nicotine Consumption

Addiction Switzerland has launched a warning about the increase in vaping amongst teens.

A survey conducted last year by the organization indicated that one in three 15-year-olds used nicotine products within the previous month. The poll was carried out in 2022 among about 9,300 pupils aged 11 to 15 across Switzerland.

The strongest increase recorded in 2022 was for vaping products, mostly among girls, when compared to a survey conducted in 2018. About 8% of the girls surveyed vaped regularly, while 6% reported smoking cigarettes, while the percentage among boys for both categories was 7%. While alcohol and consumption of illicit cannabis products among teenagers remained more or less the same as in 2018.

Concerns about the marketing of disposable vapes on social media
Meanwhile, in line with similar concerns from across the globe, Swiss experts are growing concerned that the marketing of disposable vapes on social media is growing out of control and leading to a sharp rise in teen vaping.

Switzerland’s French-speaking cantons, with the exception of Vaud and Jura have banned vape sales to to under 18s. Basel-City and Basel-Landschaft in the German-speaking region of the nation have also introduced such bans.

The devices grew in popularity in 2019. In some countries this rise in fame has been linked to marketing on social media platforms such as TikTok or Instagram, which use influencers to promote the products. The devices had so far done well as they contain synthetic nicotine.

The FDA warns almost 200 retailers for selling disposables
Recent media headlines have reported that Australia is similarly growing concerned about the increased use of the Puff Bar disposables. While in June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a recent inspection conducted by the agency led to the issuing of 189 warning letters to retailers selling unauthorized disposables, namely Elf Bar and Esco Bars products.

The FDA had been conducting a nationwide retailer inspection blitz over the past few weeks, in order to crack down on the illicit sales of these products. Both Elf Bar and Esco Bars are available in popular candy flavours accused of addicting a whole new generation to nicotine.

Similarly, last May the FDA conducted a nationwide blitz to crack down on the sale of Puff and Hyde products. This resulted in warning letters to over 30 retailers and one distributor. After receiving the warning letters, most companies corrected the violations. Failure to do so would have resulted in further disciplinary actions such as injunctions, seizures and/or civil money penalties.

Meanwhile, in line with previous studies and arguments by public health experts, a recent study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, found that if vaping products had never come to exist, those teens who currently use the products, would be smoking instead.