This is the identikit of young smokers in Italy, as shown by data from the National Dependence and Doping Center Observatory of the National Institute of Health (ISS) on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, which is celebrated every year on May 31st. The 2018 report,
which photographs the smoking habit in our country, raises the alarm on the boys: one minor in 10 is a habitual smoker and more than half also consumes cannabis. In addition, almost half of the minors sometimes smoked, tried or smoked occasionally. The use of electronic cigarettes among the very young is also very worrying , a fashion that is as dangerous as it is widespread: recent American surveys (where the phenomenon is even more widespread) indicate that it is very probable that children who “vape” with e-cig end up switching to the most harmful traditional cigarettes.
And if a small percentage of Italian children light their first cigarette even in elementary school (9-10 years), most of them start between middle and high school, in full adolescence.
Smoking, alcohol, drugs: a bond that emerges clearly
“It is necessary to strengthen primary prevention systems to avert this new trend that sees tobacco consumption even among the very young – says the president of the ISS Walter Ricciardi – before this dependency is associated with other equally or more dangerous ones”.
The survey, carried out by the OSSFAD (ISS Observatory of Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs) in collaboration with EXPLORA, carried out on a representative sample of 15 thousand children between 14 and 17 years, also shows that young habitual smokers are those who do less sports and more energy drinks. Furthermore, the worrying figure shows a greater consumption of alcohol among the habitual smokers, up to four drinks and super alcoholic drinks per week. Even a 12% declares to have hadbinge drinking episodes three or more times in the last month . The figure is growing out of all proportion of drug use: more than half of habitual smokers (65.6%) have even smoked cannabis at least once in the last year compared to 2% of non-smokers.