Perception and use of puff bars among French tennagers
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ACT- Alliance Contre le Tabac, Paris, France
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A42
■Puff bars are disposable e-cigarettes, available in a wide variety of sweet and fruity flavours (e.g., strawberry ice or marshmallow), with a packaging that is particularly attractive to young people. ■The nicotine content of the e-liquid is variable and may contain up to 20 mg/ml of nicotine. Some brands, produced outside the European Union but sold in France (especially on the Internet) may contain up to 50 mg/ml. ■In France, puff bars are sold in tobacconists, some supermarkets and on the Internet, and their price varies from €8 to €12 for 500 to 600 puffs (the equivalent of two packs of cigarettes). ■The rapid spread of the use of puffs among teenagers, especially in secondary schools, despite the ban on sales of this product to minors in France raises fears of an epidemic of nicotine dependence and a possible gateway effect from these products to tobacco and smoking. ■The ACT – Alliance Contre le Tabac and BVA an international research and consulting group have surveyed French teenagers aged 13 to 16 about their perception and use of these flavored disposable e-cigarettes.

Material and Methods:
■A nationally representative sample of 400 teenagers aged 13 to 16 was interviewed for this survey. ■The survey was conducted on internet from July 4th to 20th, 2022. ■The representativeness of the sample is ensured by the quota method, applied to the following variables: gender and age of the teenager, occupation of the reference person in the household, region and category of agglomeration. ■The results were then adjusted to be representative of this population.

An increasingly popular product among middle and high school students 66% have already heard about puff bars 36% know exactly what it is 13% have already used these puff bars A worrying ease of access despite the ban on sales to minors Among 13–16-year-olds who have already purchased tobacco or nicotine products: 9% have already bought puff bars 7% have already bought an e-cigarette and/or e-liquids 6% have already bought traditional cigarettes The main arguments of teenagers for its use (several answers possible) 58% original and fruity flavors 33% many people use them around me 32% friends of mine use them 21% puff bars are popular on social media The main places of consumption (several answers possible) 50% within the school area 29% at parties or outings with my friends 24% during an activity outside of school

■This survey confirms the sense of a sudden craze for these products among very young teenagers. ■The banning of these disposable e-cigarette is therefore essential from a health and environmental perspective if we do not want to see this pediatric nicotine addiction epidemic accelerate. ■The nicotine contained in these disposable e-cigarettes is a major concern, as the brain of teenagers is particularly vulnerable to it and dependence can develop within a few weeks of use. ■A bill for the banning of these devices in France has been introduced and is now endorsed by more than thirty deputies from various political parties.

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