A dozen small tubes of all colors are lying around in Marie’s bag (all the people mentioned wished to preserve their anonymity). Mango, blueberry or peach-lemon flavor: these are disposable electronic cigarettes. These “puffs” (pronounced “pew”) are of a hybrid kind. Like classic electronic cigarettes, they contain a flavored liquid, which young people love. But, like traditional cigarettes, they end up in the trash once consumed.
The consumer chooses the taste, the size (generally 300 to 600 puffs, a pack of classic cigarettes containing about 300 puffs) and the nicotine level, which varies between 0% and 2%, in accordance with the regulations in force. For several months, these puffs, although prohibited for minors, have been all the rage with high school and even college students.
“I love changing tastes, because I get bored quickly! »exclaims the 16-year-old girl, in 2of at the Pasteur high school in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Former user of electronic cigarettes, she now swears only by this little piece of plastic with a candy taste: “It takes up less space. And there’s no need to load it: when you finish it, you throw it away. » Another advantage that the girl finds there: the price. “Between 8 and 9 euros”notes Marie, for a puff containing 600 puffs. “When you think that a pack of cigarettes is 10 bucks… It’s cheaper”she says.
Like Marie, Mathis, student of 4and, always has a puff on him. It takes on average a week to consume it. “It’s practical, because it doesn’t leave a smell. But it’s a bit of a fadhe acknowledges. I had seen videos on TikTok, so I wanted to give it a try. »
“You can buy it everywhere”
On this social network very popular with young users, videos showing teenagers with puffs abound. TikTok, however, seems to have tried to limit their distribution: by typing the simple word “puff” in the search bar, no video is available. A message from the platform specifies that the term can be associated “to behavior or content that violates our guidelines”. But the videos haven’t disappeared: just write the term in the plural, “puffs”, or “Wpuff”, one of the leaders in the disposable electronic cigarette market.
In a press release dated March 17, the Ministry of Health and Solidarity indicated that it had sent a complaint to the public prosecutor’s office, following the observation of a “strong promotion of these “puff” type devices on social networks frequented mainly by young people”. The consequences of this report are not yet known, specifies the general direction of health (DGS), which recalls that “Advertising for vaping products is an offence, which can be punished by a fine of up to 100,000 euros”.
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