Tobacco industry still targeting young people, says WHO

STORY: :: The WHO is accusing tobacco companies of

trying to hook a new generation on nicotine

:: May 23, 2024

:: Dr. Ruediger Krech, WHO Director of Health Promotion

"Tobacco and related industries use child-friendly flavors like cotton candy and bubble gum to attract young consumers" // "E-cigarette use among young people is exceeding that of adults in many countries and globally an estimated 37 million children aged 13 to 15 years use tobacco" // "But the industry's goal is clear. Replace tobacco users lost to death and disease with a fresh wave of users trapped in addiction. We can't stand by and watch this happen."

Amid ever-stricter regulation targeting cigarettes, big tobacco companies and new entrants have begun offering smoking alternatives such as vapes, which they say are aimed at adult smokers.

But the WHO said these products' are often marketed to youth, their design and variety of fruity flavours appeal to children, and that young people are more likely to use the products than adults around the world.

The WHO said other tactics used by the industry that target children include sponsorship of music and sports festivals, the use of social media and product placement in TV shows and games.