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Young people ‘alarmingly’ exposed to e-cigarette advertising: Study

New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) A whopping 85 per cent of people, particularly the young adults, in India, China, Australia, and the UK are being exposed to e-cigarette advertising via television, print, radio, and or social media, according to a study.

This comes even as the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends banning all forms of e-cigarette advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.

The study by the George Institute for Global Health was based on an online survey of about 1000 people in each country, in the age bracket of 15-30 years.

About 85 per cent of respondents reported being exposed to e-cigarette advertising on at least one type of media platform. Exposure was more common on social media platforms, vape shops, supermarkets, petrol stations, among others.

The average number of types of media to which the respondents were exposed was 5.

“Despite advertising restrictions in place in all four countries, large majorities of young people reported being exposed to e-cigarette advertising. Social media and advertising in and around vape shops and other retailers appear to be key exposure locations,” said Simone Pettigrew, The George Institute for Global Health, in a statement.

“Urgent attention is needed to address these forms of exposure given their apparent association with e-cigarette use,” Pettigrew added.

The use of e-cigarettes by children, adolescents, and young adults has raised substantial public health concern. These e-cigarettes not only increase exposure to nicotine, leading to a greater risk of addiction.

An electronic cigarette is a battery-operated device that emits a vaporised solution to inhale. Although less harmful than regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. These can harm the lungs as well as brain development of adolescents and young adults.

The researchers in the study contend that exposure to e-cigarette advertising can alter people’s perceptions of the danger and risk involved and further pique their interest, leading to an increase in their propensity to use.

Meanwhile, in India, the possession of e-cigarettes and similar devices in any form, quantity or manner is banned.

The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarette Act (PECA) 2019, prohibits the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes.

Yet, 2023 data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) reveals a significant increase in the number of e-cigarette users in India –over 100,000 users in 2023 from approximately 10,000 in 2019.

The rapid growth is particularly noticeable among young people and adults under the age of 30.



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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