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Catching the generations.. International report: 37 million children smoke in the Eastern Mediterranean

A report released by the World Health Organization and the global tobacco industry watchdog (“STOP”) announced that approximately 37 million children worldwide aged 13 to 15 use tobacco. tobacco and that the rate of use of electronic cigarettes among adolescents exceeds this figure. adults around the world.

He highlighted that the situation is worrying in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, as global surveys on tobacco use among young people reveal alarming rates of smoking reaching around 35% among boys and 30% among girls in some countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The report, titled “Catching the Next Generation,” sheds light on how the tobacco and nicotine industry designs its products, implements marketing campaigns and shapes policy environments to help them attract young people of the world towards addiction, calls for tackling the problem of there is a high risk that non-smoking adolescents will currently fall ill into the smoking trap in the future, highlighting that the average rates of smoking among boys of Eastern Mediterranean Region are the highest among all regions of the organization, reaching 15%. .

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The report notes that the emergence of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco and nicotine products poses a serious threat to young people and anti-tobacco efforts, and studies indicate that e-cigarette use is leading to a fold increase about three of their consumption. traditional cigarettes, particularly among young non-smokers.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the Organization, said that the tobacco industry seeks to sell the same nicotine to our children, but in different packaging, emphasizing that the industry is actively targeting schools, children and young people with new products that are essentially a candy-flavored trap.

He added that the industry continues to market its products to young people with appealing flavors such as candy and fruit flavors, and that some research conducted in the United States of America has concluded that more than 70% of young people E-cigarette users would stop smoking if the products were available in tobacco flavor.

Dr. Rüdiger Kresch, director of the Organization’s Health Promotion Department, said the industry deliberately designs products and uses marketing strategies that appeal directly to children, in addition to being stylish. and colorful designs that look like toys, is a blatant attempt to lure children into their clutches.

Catching the generations.. International report: 37 million children smoke in the Eastern Mediterranean

He stressed that these deceptive methods highlight the urgent need to establish strict systems to protect young people from harmful dependence on these products throughout their lives.

The organization urges governments to protect young people from tobacco, e-cigarettes and other nicotine products by banning or strictly regulating these products. The organization’s recommendations include making indoor public places completely smoke-free, banning flavored e-cigarettes, and imposing a ban. on marketing, advertising and promotion, increasing taxes, raising public awareness of deceptive tactics used by the industry and supporting youth-led education and awareness initiatives.

Jorge Alday, director of the STOP panel of Vital Strategies, said that for the industry, young addicts generate profits for life, which is why they strive to create an environment in which it is cheap, attractive and easy for young people to become dependent on their products. “If we remain static, current and future generations could face a new wave of harm, characterized by addiction and use of many tobacco and nicotine products, including cigarettes. »

This report is released ahead of the celebration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, as the organization works to amplify the voices of young people who are calling on governments to protect them from the tobacco industry and nicotine, which makes them its targets.

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