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The mayor of Barnaul instructed to carry out preventive work in educational institutions regarding vape smoking. Such measures are connected with the recent tragedy that occurred in Biysk – a sixth-grader died after one of the smoke breaks. What are the dangers of these devices and how the problem of vaping among teenagers is being fought in Russia and other countries — in the Izvestia article.

What can vape smoking do?

Mayor of Barnaul Vyacheslav Frank instructed carry out preventive work in educational institutions after the death of a sixth grader, the press service of the city administration reported. In addition, class hours will be held in grades 5-11 on the topic of the dangers of vaping, and parental chats will additionally inform about the dangers of this hobby.

The tragedy that caused such a serious outcry occurred in Biysk: a 12-year-old teenager died after smoking with sister and girlfriend vape. In the morning, the grandmother found young people in an unconscious state in the apartment – the girls were hospitalized, but the teenager could not be saved. According to the press service of the regional Investigative Committee of the Investigative Committee of Russia, a criminal case has been initiated on this fact under the article “Causing death by negligence”. According to preliminary data, on January 10, her 18-year-old friend and her 12-year-old brother came to visit a 17-year-old girl in Biysk. After smoking a vape, their condition worsened.

“Currently, the investigating authorities are carrying out the necessary investigative actions aimed at establishing the circumstances of the incident, as well as the causes and conditions that contributed to the commission of the crime. The investigation of the criminal case is ongoing, – said Lyudmila Ryazantseva, senior assistant to the head of the investigative department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Altai Territory for information interaction with the public and the media.

How teenagers are protected from vaping

This is far from the first accident in Russia related to vaping. So, in June in Moscow, a teenager suffered lung damage due to vaping. A 17-year-old boy developed severe respiratory failure that could have been fatal, but doctors managed to save him. In March, in Yekaterinburg, a student was on sick leave after he tried to smoke a vape – the device exploded right in his mouth. How informed E1.RU, the device knocked out the boy’s teeth.

Today in Russia, the solution to the problem of limiting vaping consumption among teenagers is going in several directions. So, in October last year, it became known that the Ministry of Health would work question on the inclusion in the program of preventive medical examinations of minors for the use of nicotine. Such an order was given to the department by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova following a meeting of the Council under the Government of the Russian Federation on issues of guardianship in the social sphere.

Carrying out a CT scan of the lungs

Photo: TASS / Vladimir Gerdo

Health workers will be able to check the fact of smoking by teenagers with the help of a smokelizer – a gas analyzer that records the amount of carbon monoxide on exhalation. Now, at a medical examination, minors can only be checked for the use of drugs and psychotropic substances. In addition, the Ministry of Health was instructed to develop measures prohibiting the rental of electronic devices for the use of nicotine by children, as well as the display of vapes, hookahs and other products on store shelves that operate within a radius of 100 meters from schools and universities.

At the time of publication of the material, the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation did not respond to Izvestia’s request about the stage at which the development of these measures was.

Meanwhile, in January 2021, Russia entered into force amendments, which provide for a ban on the sale of hookahs, vapes and nicotine-containing products via the Internet. Thus, the above devices have been equated with tobacco products, and therefore they are now subject to similar restrictions.

As for preventive measures in educational institutions, as Konstantin Tkhostov, director of Lyceum No. 369 in St. children with the help of mediation services – they are trying to instill a negative attitude towards smoking in the younger generation. However, the responsibility for the popularity of vaping or other hobbies harmful to the health of children should not fall solely on educational organizations, he is sure.

Visitor at the third professional exhibition of the vape industry

Photo: RIA Novosti / Vladimir Song

We have a clear ban on smoking on the territory of educational institutions, sports grounds, but there is no more detailed format with the prescribed responsibility of the parties yet,” says the teacher. – And here we must clearly understand that one school is not enough to prevent such plots, the family and its social orientation play an important role here – in many respects this prevents children from trying to “taste forbidden fruits”, whether it is the use of liquids, mixtures or just tobacco. This is all a question that lies in the plane of communication between the family and the school, but with all this, until the mechanisms of responsibility of all participants in this process are spelled out, everyone will continue to shift responsibility.

How dangerous is vaping

Vapes contain nicotine in 95% of cases, and this has a detrimental effect on health, especially in adolescence, in terms of the development of nicotine addiction, noted in a conversation with Izvestia, Candidate of Medical Sciences, head of the Center for Prevention and Control of Tobacco Consumption of the National Medical Research Center for Therapy and Preventive Medicine of the Ministry of Health of Russia Marine Gambaryan. And this dependence develops very quickly from the nicotine contained in vapes. Moreover, it is highly toxic. compared to nicotine in tobacco – there it is also, of course, not natural, but in vapes it is purely synthetic, emphasizes Gambaryan.

Vape in girl's hand

Фото: TASS/DPA/Frank May

In addition, it contains a lot of flavors that make vapes attractive to young people – additives that taste like vanilla, chocolate, popcorn are especially popular, the doctor notes. All these supplements contain diacetyl, this substance affects the health of the lungs – it can cause pneumonia, especially in children.

The composition of the liquids used in these devices also raises many questions, Oleg Stetsenko, a narcologist, noted in a conversation with Izvestia. According to him, it is not known who mixes all these liquids for vapes – this is often done by unknown and incomprehensible companies. In addition, it also happens that teenagers themselves are engaged in the manufacture of such liquids. And where there is nicotine, doses are lethal, emphasizes the narcologist.

– When smoking cigarettes, a person also experiences, as it were, a burn of the trachea, a sensation of smoke and stops smoking, roughly speaking, having inhaled it. And here it turns out that the vapor itself in vapes does not cause such a severe burn, so there is no sensation of sore throat, and a person can smoke a lot and for a long time,” the doctor explains.

Vapes in the hands of teenagers

Photo: TASS/Sergey Fadeichev

For children, this is much more scary than for adults, emphasizes Marine Gambaryan.

– The thing is that their respiratory organs are not fully developed, the function of external respiration is finally established somewhere by the age of 20. Therefore, it is in principle very important for us to increase the age of tobacco sales from 18 to 21 years – until then, the lungs are still developing, and any harmful effect on them can have detrimental consequences in terms of further development, – she noted. “Besides, it contains a lot of things that we haven’t fully explored yet. Even if the concentration of toxic substances in vapes is lower than in tobacco smoke, this does not mean anything, since the routes of penetration of these substances into the body and the bioavailability of these substances are very important. A very striking example is the United States, where there was a real epidemic of vaping among teenagers. There was an epidemic of SARS from which people died (their average age was 25 years old), and it was associated with the consumption of electronic cigarettes and vapes. The viral and bacterial origin of these pneumonias was not found, therefore, they paid attention to what other components could affect the respiratory organs.

How the world is fighting vaping

Back in 2019, US President Donald Trump signed decree, which prohibits the federal sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to persons under 21 years of age. The decision of the authorities was largely influenced by the increasing cases of illness and death in the United States from vaping – at that time, the US Centers for Disease Control identified 54 deaths and more than 2500 lung injuries associated with vaping.

Vape shop in USA

Фото: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

A little earlier, New York State became the first in the country to introduce ban for the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and e-liquids with nicotine. In addition, earlier this year, a new law affecting vaping enthusiasts was passed in state Oregon Local retailers will now be required to purchase a license to sell e-cigarettes and vaping-related products. According to local authorities, the main goal of such innovations is to protect young people from nicotine addiction. They cite the following data: back in 2019, during inspections, it turned out that one in six tobacco retailers illegally sold tobacco to people under the age of 21. As for products containing flavors that attract children, every fifth retailer sold them.

Vaping bans have been introduced not only in the US. In 2019, similar measures were accepted in one of the provinces of Canada – then the authorities of Nova Scotia announced a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes and flavored filling liquid for them. In the province of Ontario, a law came into force in January 2020 to completely ban the advertising of electronic cigarettes in stores and at gas stations. The provincial government of Prince Edward Island passed a law raising the age for buying e-cigarettes from 19 to 21.

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