Perhaps you have already seen its colorful packaging at the tobacconist’s or in supermarkets? Perhaps you have seen college students or high school students consume? The “Puff” (from the English “puff”) is a disposable electronic cigarette created in the United States in 2019. It has the same mode of operation as an electronic cigarette but its tank is not refillable with E-liquid. It is therefore disposable. It creates an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. As with refillable electronic cigarettes, the E-liquid of Puffs may contain nicotine. This liquid contains several substances: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, water, alcohol, flavors …
The Puff has become fashionable among teenagers: 10% of French 13-16 years have tried it in July 2022. To date, in April 2023, the Puff can be sold in France in tobacconists, supermarkets, on the Internet, in electronic cigarette stores …
It appeals particularly to young people because of many fruity and sweet flavors (“hazelnut”, “red fruit”, “marshmallow” …), its colorful packaging and its attractive price (10 to 12 € for a Puff). It has been widely promoted to young people via social networks and influencers. It can be used discreetly by teenagers in high schools and colleges.
What are the dangers of Puff?
– The Puff risks to accustom young people to the gesture of smoking and easily lead to addiction, especially among a young audience. Many middle and high school students now say they are “addicted” to the Puff.
– The consumption of nicotine in the Puff (as in cigarettes) by young people can have adverse effects on a developing brain such as learning disabilities, sleep disorders …
– Puff users with nicotine are also at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine and then starting to smoke. The Puff can then become a gateway to smoking among young people who do not smoke, while smoking tends to decline among middle and high school students in France today.
– The liquid inhaled by the consumer of Puff as for any electronic cigarette remains irritating, even if it does not contain tar and toxic product related to tobacco combustion.
– The Puff contains plastic and a lithium battery and is therefore a source of toxic pollution for the environment, especially since it is disposable.
The National Academy of Medicine has warned against the pitfalls of the Puff in its statement of 28/02/23. It issued several recommendations: the need to inform the public, especially teachers of colleges and high schools to the dangers of the Puff, the need to strengthen the regulations on the sale of Puff to protect young people (sale prohibited to minors already in progress to apply (Public Health Code), reinforced taxation, neutral package …).
The ACT (“Alliance against Tobacco”, a federation of associations fighting against tobacco in France) would like to ban the Puffs in France.
The National Assembly has filed a bill in late 2022 to ban single-use vaping devices.
Important notes to finish:
The National Academy of Medicine recommends reserving the use of disposable or non-disposable electronic cigarettes only for tobacco smokers in the context of smoking cessation.
The sale to minors and advertising for electronic cigarettes are prohibited by the Public Health Code (Articles L.3513-1 et seq.).
“The “Puff”, new disposable electronic cigarette: a trap for children and adolescents,” Communiqué of the National Academy of Medicine, 28/02/23
“Cigarette “puff”: the Academy of Medicine warns against the dangers, LM Agudelo, Revue du Praticien, 10/03/23
Website of “Alliance against Tobacco” (consulted in April 2023): https://alliancecontreletabac.org /
Public Health Code: Articles L.3513-1 and following
I declare that I have no conflict of interest in the writing of this article.