The rising use of e-cigarettes among children and young people has garnered recent attention, as indicated by a survey conducted by the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in 2022. However, the use of alternative smokeless tobacco and nicotine pouches by this age group has received less recognition. While these two products are distinct, with nicotine pouches not containing tobacco, there are both overlapping and separate themes related to their use. Limited data exists regarding the utilization of smokeless tobacco and nicotine pouches by children and young people in the UK. Notably, awareness and usage of nicotine pouches are higher among younger adults, with approximately 5% of 18-24 year-olds having tried them according to ASH’s 2022 report (ASH, 2022b).
• E-cigarettes and alternative smokeless tobacco/nicotine pouches are being used by children and young people.
• Limited data is available on the use of smokeless tobacco and nicotine pouches by children and young people in the UK.
• Nicotine pouches can be sold to those under 18 years of age, and there is no regulation covering the strength of the product.
• Smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco and snuff are available online in the UK and have health concerns associated with them, including dental issues and oral cancers.
• Mainstream media has reported increased use of these products in children, including the use of snus in schools and promotion on social media platforms like TikTok.
• Footballers in the UK have been photographed using smokeless tobacco products, and there are quotes suggesting that they have been advised there are no health concerns.
• Nicotine pouches are not regulated in the same way as conventional and e-cigarettes and can be easily obtained online.
• Nicotine addiction occurs faster in children and young people compared to adults.
• There is a need for increased awareness, data collection, and addressing the legal loophole that allows the sale of nicotine pouches to children.
• Health professionals should be aware of the use of smokeless tobacco and nicotine products by both adults and children and provide counselling on the risks.
• Parents who use these products should be made aware of the dangers of nicotine poisoning to children.
Via NursingTimes.net – original article.