Protect the youngest from the dangers of electronic cigarettes. This is the goal set by the World Health Organization (WHO) in a new report on tobacco control, released on July 27. Because according to the UN agency, the manufacturers of these products primarily target children and adolescents, whom they seduce with thousands of tantalizing aromas – the report listed 16,000 different – and reassuring statements.

A risk for brain development

Gold, “nicotine is very addictive “, including in adolescents, and “Electronic nicotine inhalers are dangerous” worried Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the WHO, during a press conference.

Worse, in those under 20, nicotine has harmful effects on brain development. The agency also estimates that children who use these devices are more likely to smoke later.

To read also: The True of the False: is the electronic cigarette dangerous?

“Criminal act”

Targeting children is therefore “a criminal act“, a violation of human rights in particular”if it is with toxic products“, denounced the person in charge of the campaign No tobacco in the WHO, the doctor Vinayak Prasad, during the press conference.

We cannot run any risk with children because brain development is affected and they run the risk of being addicted all their lives.“, he warned.

Do not “renormalize” the act of smoking

Consequently, the head of the WHO believes that where these products are not banned, “governments should adopt adequate measures to protect their populations from the danger of these electronic nicotine inhalers, and prevent children, adolescents and other vulnerable groups from using them“.

The agency therefore calls on governments to do what is necessary to prevent non-smokers from using e-cigarettes and other electronic cigars, in particular for fear of “renormalize“the act of smoking in society.

84 countries still without regulation

According to the report, 32 countries ban the sale of these electronic nicotine inhalers and 79, including France, have adopted at least one measure to limit their use, such as banning advertising. But 84 countries have no safeguards against the proliferation of this type of product. In France, the sale of electronic cigarettes, its derivatives and e-liquids are prohibited to minors. And as with cigarettes, it is forbidden to vape in certain closed places such as companies or closed public transport.