Puffs, electronic cigarettes that are a hit among young people and worry

This fashion for small colored tubes that we inhale arrived in France at the end of 2021. Sold between 8 and 12 euros at tobacconists, on websites or in supermarkets, they come in a wide range of flavors: strawberry ice cream, cola sparkling or bubble gum. These cigarettes offer a certain number of puffs for a nicotine level of between 0 and 20 mg/ml.

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The puff: a disposable e-cigarette that targets the very young

After the electronic cigarette, here is its disposable version, the puff. It is a plastic stick composed of a lithium battery and containing a limited amount of vaping liquid with synthetic nicotine salts. This non-recyclable e-cigarette “allows 300 to 600 puffs (“puff” meaning “one puff”), with a capacity of 1 to 2 ml, at a price of 6 to 10 euros”, indicates Dr Philippe Arvers, addictologist in Grenoble. Completely accessible therefore for the target audience: young people.

Coming straight from the United States, “they immediately made a splash”, indicates the Confederation of tobacconists. Especially with consumers who want to quit smoking and find a fun and practical alternative to conventional electronic cigarettes. “This product has a certain marketing power”, influencers have advertised it on networks like TikTok, contributing to its popularity with young people, explain the tobacconists.

These ensure “redouble vigilance” so that adolescents do not have access to them since, legally, their sale is prohibited to minors.

Generation of future smokers

A message which, for the moment, does not seem to be heard everywhere. “Everyone smokes puffs, even in college,” says Constance, in Terminale in a high school in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. In his Fifth grade class, in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine), Jules says that “several students in his class have already smoked it” ensuring that there was “no nicotine in it”.

The ministry warned against promoting these cigarettes to underage audiences via social media. He was also concerned about the presence of products, accessible online, with nicotine levels that could exceed the authorized thresholds. Two days before World No Tobacco Day, professor of public health and president of the Alliance Against Tobacco Loïc Josseran, warns: “A young brain that comes into contact with nicotine will become addicted: it is a door to entry to smoking »

Hooking the young

He is particularly concerned about an evolution of the offer with, on sale, products offering an increasingly high number of puffs and nicotine levels. “It’s an extremely attractive product, accessible, easily concealable in class or at home… everything is done to hook a young audience,” he fears.

A survey by the French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Trends published in December 2021 and carried out among pupils in Third Year showed an increasingly popular use of electronic cigarettes among adolescents.

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Puffs, electronic cigarettes that are a hit among young people and worry


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