Alcohol and nicotine use among teenagers rises in Europe, WHO calls for preventive measures — Global Issues

data The UN health agency found in surveys across all three sectors that more than one in two 15-year-olds have tried alcohol, while one in five teens have recently used e-cigarettes. He announced that it has become clear that there is a problem, and called for urgent preventive measures.

Dr Hans Kluge said: “The widespread use of hazardous substances among children in the European region and in many other countries poses a serious public health threat.” who European Regional Director.

“Given that the brain continues to develop until the mid-20s, adolescents need to be protected from the effects of toxic and dangerous products.”

Alcohol is on the rise, followed by e-cigarettes

Alcohol use remains prevalent among teenagers. 57% of 15-year-olds claim to have tried it, and 37% say they have taken it within the last month.Approximately 1 in 10 young people across all age groups Have experienced significant drunkenness, including drinking at least twice in their lifetime. This rate rises from 5 percent at age 13 to 20 percent by age 15, indicating a trend toward escalating alcohol abuse among young people.

Electronic cigarettes are also rapidly increasing in popularity., outpacing traditional cigarettes, 32 percent of 15-year-olds have tried a cigarette, and 20 percent have used a cigarette in the past 30 days. Comparable to this, 25 percent of 15-year-olds have ever smoked a conventional cigarette, and 15 percent have smoked a conventional cigarette within the past month. is.

Perhaps surprisingly, cannabis use decreased slightly: 12% of 15-year-olds surveyed will have tried cannabis in 2022, up from 14% in 2018. Early cannabis use can lead to later dependence and problematic patterns of use, the report warns.

The report also found that traditionally boys drink and smoke more than girls, but this trend appears to be changing, with girls using less tobacco, alcohol and e-cigarettes by age 15. He also emphasized that they are on par with, or even better than, boys.

Harmful product placement

WHO experts expressed alarm at the use of all substances in video games, entertainment programs and other content aimed at young people via multimedia platforms, and called for the implementation of comprehensive preventive measures.

“today, Children are constantly exposed to targeted and harmful online marketing of products.On the other hand, popular culture like video games normalizes them,” Dr. Kluge said. To protect the health of young people, WHO is already working with countries to protect them from toxic and addictive products that can affect their quality of life for years to come.

To curb youth use of alcohol, nicotine and tobacco, WHO is calling on countries to increase taxes, limit product availability and where products are sold, and enforce minimum legal purchasing ages.

The UN health agency also calls for a ban on all flavors, including nicotine and menthol, found in tobacco products. impose a comprehensive ban For advertising across mainstream and social media platforms.

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