“I think everyone has them.
It's been done since the start of All Saints' Day, "slips a high school student from the 16th arrondissement of Paris, at the end of her last class of the week.
In his hands, a "Puff", a colored disposable electronic cigarette.
For 8 to 12 euros, these latest generation vapes contain 600 puffs of fruity flavors.
A fashion effect powered by social networks
The packaging of these sticks resembles candy packets. And their very sweet tastes are still reminiscent of confectionery: glazed grapes, red fruits, marshmallows, coconut pineapple, mango guava. On social networks, many teenagers show off their collection of “vapotes”. "There are guys on TikTok who started saying 'Yeah it's so good, we buy it all the time, it's better than cigarettes' and suddenly the fashion effect took hold", explains a teenager crossed at the end of high school.
Like all electronic cigarettes, these "puffs" are strictly prohibited for those under 18 years of age.
However, in front of the private college-Lycée La Tour, a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower, its followers are all minors and make no secret of obtaining these products without any difficulty in tobacconists.
“They don't check the age,” slips another high school student, who has tested almost all tastes.
For those who have failed, it is easy to order some on the Internet via Snapchat or Instagram accounts.
“We saw that it affected minors a lot”
"It's not too much of a teenager thing anymore, it's a crazy pre-teen thing," slips Malek, educated at Lycée Colbert, in the northeast of Paris.
"It's the 5th and 4th who smoke that.
I found one in my sister's room, she is in 4th grade and she is 13 years old”.
In the 19th arrondissement of Paris, a college principal expressed concern about this new craze for “puffs” in an email: “Several students obtain these cigarettes and introduce them to college.
They are available everywhere, ”warns the email, which recalls that these products contain nicotine.
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Many tobacconists and shops specializing in e-cigarettes have told us that they have turned away many young minors who were trying to get these new vapes.
A few steps from Porte d'Aubervilliers, in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, an electronic cigarette store has even decided to stop selling these models, which arrived on the market in the summer of 2021.
"We started to see that it affected minors a lot," says Fairouz Fentous, Manager of Vapostore Paris Rosa Parks.
"It also attracted, among other things, a clientele who were not smokers," says Reda Amirouche, salesman in the same shop.
“And that's where it started to give us an ethical problem.
It was very focused on the recreational aspect.
We were no longer in smoking cessation at all, ”he deciphers.
Young people are “pigeons”
Indeed, smoking “puffs” regularly can quickly make you dependent. These disposable cigarettes contain 0.9% or 1.7% of nicotine, even if 0% models also exist.
“It's a real trap.
Very quickly it makes you addicted to nicotine, dissects Loïc Josseran, president of the Alliance Against Tobacco.
“Compared to e-liquids, it's not extremely dosed.
It's not so much and only the nicotine content, it's how we will absorb it.
We are on a product on which we will be able to pull very hard very quickly”.
This public health doctor also reminds us that we do not know the long-term effects of e-liquids on our health.
"There is a new step taken in the appeal that this kind of product can have", regrets Loïc Josseran.
"Young people are really pigeons that we are used to catching for the next 40 years", assures the doctor.