In the middle of the court, under the courtyard, is a table on which several leaflets stand side by side: “Sorting”, “First Time”, “Screen = Danger”, “Tobacco: I would like it to stop”. Dozens of curious college students rush there: some take, awkwardly, a few copies, while the speakers address them well-rehearsed speech. “Do you know why we are here?” negative gesture.
At François Fillon College, rated REP + (Education Network Priority), in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, a meeting on the “puff” was held on Tuesday morning. It was led by Jean-Michel Gras, a tobacco specialist and member of the Ile-de-France Committee to Combat Respiratory Diseases, and Adje Drame, a speaker at the city’s health workshops.
that is the last one “A tool of city policy to stimulate prevention and health promotion measures in working-class neighbourhoods, Explains Anne-Claire Beau, the deputy mayor of Paris in charge of working-class neighbourhoods, present at the meeting. Our goal is to identify and respond to health needs: the approach is to “reach” vulnerable populations. Here we were alerted by the college to the large number of students using puffs.
“What is a puff?” asks Adji Drama. “Disposable electronic cigarette without nicotine”, Responds one by one Mahdi (1), in the sixth. For 8 to 12 euros, this latest generation of vapes contains about 600 puffs of fruity flavors – the equivalent of two packs of classic cigarettes. While selling it is forbidden to minors, “However, college students are the main consumers,” Tobacco specialist explains. And if there are many single-use cigarettes without nicotine, this is not the case for most of them, which contain between 0.9% and 2%.
At first, the e-cigarette had to do that Helping smokers quit smokingwas the lesser of evil, The doctor explains. Today, young people began to smoke with a puff. The danger is that adolescents who have never touched a cigarette become addicted, and they get used to inhaling smoke, but also to these gestures.
So one password: “do not start” , A formula repeated by the speakers, who use all their diplomacy to make college students understand the dangers of bloating: “Nicotine or not, smoke inhalation is very dangerous, Adji Drama warns. It contains a large number of chemicals and toxic products.
Teenagers in the spotlight
“The Puff is explicitly aimed at this young audience, even the very young,” Jean-Michel Gras worries. The mistake of thoughtful marketing and increased promotion on social networks. TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram… all means are good to attract highly connected middle school students. In the yard, few people have a smartphone that does not protrude from their pockets. And then, the flavors of cotton candy, red fruits, and marshmallows… “Backless, reminiscent of those in the confectionery industry”, Says Vincent German, Prevention Safety Assistant. Not to mention the disposable device, which is easy to hide from parents. “It is a little not seen, not taken”, Liu laughs “Puzzle” in fifth place.
“I’ve been using one for several months now, Trust, Gladys, VI. I tried cigarettes once but I didn’t like it, I coughed a lot. There, it tastes good and then all my girlfriends get it.” The reasons for this success? “The fun aspect, recreation, fashion effect, and less vigilance on the part of the parents,” Sorry for Vincent Germain.
Available on Gifi
Like all electronic cigarettes, these puffs are strictly prohibited to use for minors. However, his followers do not hide his easy acquisition. “Just cross the street: the two tobacco sellers sell them in front of the college, and never ask about our age,” He says Chloe is in fourth place. “I tried to buy one but couldn’t, so I called an Instagram account,” Details of one of his companions. “Even a sixth grader told me she could get some jiffy,” Vincent Germain is sad.
The ease of obtaining puffs contributes to the impression that their use is harmless. “If it were, we wouldn’t be able to buy it that easily,” Chloe abounds. A phenomenon that prompted Vincent Germain to report tobacco stores to the police several weeks ago. No news since then.
But if some present the puff as a “toy”, Teens know, however, that it’s not quite the same as others. Behind the courtyard, a group of young men took a few puffs before quickly hiding them in their pocket. “We are not deceived, Vincent Germain says to me. We see them puffing in hallways, in toilets, or when going outside. And these are the guys who came to talk to us about it because they were worried. And for good reason.
(1) First names have been changed.