eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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vol. 2
Original paper

Smoking- or nicotine-free generation, or both? What should be the public health priority?

Witold A. Zatoński
1, 2
Leif E. Aaro
Oddun Samdal
Joanna Mazur

Health Promotion Foundation, Nadarzyn, Poland
Higher Vocational State School in Kalisz, Poland
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, Norway
University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Institute of Mother and Child, Warsaw, Poland
J Health Inequal 2016; 2 (2): 105–108
Online publish date: 2016/12/30
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In many highly developed countries the prevalence of tobacco smoking is declining. This trend seems to be particularly marked among adolescents. Even in countries with a relatively short history of tobacco control programmes, such as Poland, this decline is strong. In Norway, the prevalence of daily smokers among 15-year-old adolescents, both genders combined, is under 2%. Marketing of e-cigarettes may represent a challenge for sustaining these positive trends. The strongest argument in favor of allowing the sales and marketing of e-cigarettes is their use as a cessation tool for established smokers. However, a disagreement persists within the scientific community regarding the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as an aid for quitting smoking. There is also a strong concern whether young people could be recruited into nicotine dependence using non-tobacco nicotine delivery products, and eventually, into the use of traditional combustible cigarettes. Experiences from Poland and Norway indicate that effective tobacco control can lead to significant decreases in smoking prevalence among children and adolescents. Aggressive marketing of e-cigarettes must not be allowed to interfere with this development.

tobacco, e-cigarettes, adolescents, Poland, Norway

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