A discouragement campaign is coming up to keep young people from vaping. After concerned questions from high schools in the region, addiction centre Novadic Kentron decided.
There are no hard figures on the use of e-cigarettes, but estimates. They range from one in ten young people who vape to one in four. Novadic Kentron in Eindhoven has been bombarded with questions from secondary schools since the end of the corona pandemic.
“The real concern is with 12 to 15-year-olds,” says Bernard van ‘t Klooster of Novadic Kentron Eindhoven. “That’s what we specifically focus the campaign on. We keep it small, because we don’t want to make vaping interesting,” he says. The campaign is commissioned by the municipality of Eindhoven and is intended to discourage the target group from starting to vape.
Schools are seeing students pick up vaping at an increasingly younger age. Students also see it in their own environment. “I don’t vape myself, but I see more and more kids from classes below me who are already vaping,” says a 17-year-old student. “I have a lot of friends who vape,” says another.
The many flavours in particular make it attractive for young people to start using e-cigarettes. “We have Red Bull flavour, strawberry or cola flavour,” says Paul van Hout of tobacco shop Renata. “It’s very popular, we sell hundreds of vapes a week. It’s tasty, it smells nice and it doesn’t bother other people.”
From October 2023 it will be prohibited to sell flavoured liquids for e-cigarettes. But whether that is useful remains to be seen. Young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to buy tobacco products anyway. “Our shop will make less profit, because young people know other ways to get the stuff,” says van Hout. “Everything is available online.” A young vaper does not worry about it either. “There will always be dealers who sell flavours.”
The Novadic Kentron campaign will start in March 2023.