New products aimed at young people could reverse the fight against smoking

The percentage of the population using tobacco in the Americas decreased from 28% to 16.3% between 2000 and 2020; However, novelty products and misleading information from the tobacco industry aimed primarily at young people threaten these gains, the tobacco industry warned Monday. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The electronic cigarettes are one of the most common forms of nicotine delivery today. Your emissions contain nicotine and other toxic substances that are harmful both for users and for those who are exposed to them, said PAHO, adding that in order to face the increasing danger that these products represent for health, it is essential that countries implement policies to avoid their consumption, especially in the youth, since they can become the gateway to tobacco consumption.

One death every 34 seconds in America

He smoking kills one million people a year in the American continent, that is, one every 34 seconds. In addition, 15% of deaths from cardiovascular diseases, 24% from cancer and 45% from chronic respiratory diseases are attributable to tobacco use. It is estimated that 11% of young people in the region consume tobacco.

on the eve of World No Tobacco Daywhich is celebrated every May 31, the director of PAHO, Jarbas Barbosa, advocated the development and implementation of effective policies to protect youth.

“The tobacco industry and its allies are not resting. They spread a lot misleading information that promotes, especially among young people, the use of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products,” he explained.

man smoking

Barbosa indicated that although eight countries in the region have banned the sale of electronic cigarettes and four more for heated tobacco products, it is worrying that 14 countries have not yet taken any regulatory action in this regard.

In 2005, the Framework Convention on the World Health Organization (WHO) for Tobacco Control. Since then, America has made important advances in the prevention and control of tobacco use.


96% of the population of 35 countries in the region is protected by at least one of the six tobacco control measures recommended by the WHO.

In 2020, South America became the first 100% smoke-free subregion, thanks to the total ban on smoking in indoor public and workplaces, as well as on public transport. Mexico also adopted 100% smoke-free environments at the end of 2021, and banned all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. As a result, the 63% of the population of America, or more than 600 million people, is now protected from exposure to tobacco smoke.

In addition, in 2022, Paraguay ratified the Protocol for the Elimination of Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, which will boost regional efforts in this area.

Barbosa affirmed that these achievements nourish the possibility of the continent reaching the goal of a relative reduction of 30% in the prevalence of tobacco use in people over 15 years of age by 2025, established in the WHO Global Action Plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.

Despite this confidence, Barbosa stated that in order to continue advancing in tobacco control, it is urgent to decisively promote the measures that have lagged behind, such as the tax increase, total ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorshipand the adoption of mechanisms for managing conflicts of interest.

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