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Most EU Countries Want to Ban E-Cigarettes. Czechia May Follow the Trend.

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An increasing number of European nations are taking steps to prohibit disposable electronic cigarettes, a product that has gained significant popularity among children and adolescents. Following the footsteps of Germany, Belgium, Ireland, and others, the French government has now announced its intention to implement such a ban. This prohibition will be part of a broader anti-smoking initiative spearheaded by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne’s administration. The rapid proliferation of disposable electronic cigarettes has been observed in several countries, including the Czech Republic.

According to Borne, disposable e-cigarettes prompt a behavioral pattern that children become accustomed to, ultimately leading them toward conventional tobacco usage. Concerned about the substantial appeal of these products to young individuals, many countries are gradually adopting more stringent measures. For instance, the UK’s Department of Health is presently working on similar restrictions.

Critics contend that manufacturers, often based in China, intentionally target teenagers by employing vibrant colors and creating flavor options reminiscent of various candies. The popularity of these products among young people is further boosted by influencers who promote them on platforms like TikTok and YouTube. Disposable e-cigarettes are particularly attractive to young users because they eliminate the need for setup and maintenance, unlike rechargeable alternatives.

Loïc Josseran, the leader of the Alliance Against Tobacco, expressed his dismay, stating, “It’s become an epidemic. It is appalling how the tobacco industry has chosen to target children,” as reported by the BBC. Activists are pushing for the ban to be enforced in France by year-end.

In France, as in the Czech Republic, individuals under the age of 18 are theoretically barred from purchasing e-cigarettes. Nevertheless, practical experience demonstrates that children and adolescents can easily circumvent this restriction.

It’s important to note that experts have consistently cautioned against the use of e-cigarettes, highlighting potential health risks such as inflammatory lung diseases and internal organ damage due to the deposition of toxic substances.

Moreover, these products pose a significant environmental problem. Disposable e-cigarettes are primarily constructed from plastic and contain an irremovable battery, approximately 0.15 grams of lithium, as well as nicotine salts and traces of heavy metals. In the UK alone, one million of these devices were discarded weekly last year, according to a study by the nonprofit Material Focus, as reported by the BBC.

Different countries are addressing youth smoking habits through various means. The EU market, including the Czech Republic, is set to ban flavored tobacco starting from October 23. However, this prohibition does not encompass electronic cigarettes or nicotine sachets, also favored by young individuals.



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