Vapes ape comics to lure kids

Vapes ape comics to lure kids

Vapes ape comics to lure kids
Cases of vaporisers that feature patterns of favorite cartoon characters. ( Photo: Srirach Lapyai )

Academics are warning about a new kind of e- smoke called” toy pods”, which are presented like replicas of famous cartoon characters to pin school and university students.

Srirach Lapyai, a project manager at Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Centre ( TRC ), said e- smoke businesses have adjusted the appearance of their products to appear more like statues of popular cartoon characters or sweet portraits of games, food, stationery things, and so forth.

They are the fifth generation of e- cigarettes called” toy pods”, Ms Srirach said, adding each one contains up to 5 % synthetic nicotine and yields up to 15, 000 puffs. According to her, some come in a collection. Each may comprise up to 12 toy pods of different colours, indicating various flavours and smells.

” It is shocking to know that e- cigarettes in the form of toy pods have been so widely popular that they have spread to primary school students. Many first graders were recently found carrying them”, she said.

Ms Srirach explained that the mouthpiece of the toy pods is designed to mimic a cute figurine, making them almost unrecognisable as e- cigarettes.

Dr Vijj Kasemsup, director of the TRC, said these businesses target younger customers by opening shops and launching promotions on social media that suit their preferences and lifestyles.

According to a recent report, 309 online vendors were found to be illegally selling e- cigarettes through social media channels, including X, Facebook and Instagram, between January and February.

Dr Vijj expressed his concerns that nicotine from e- cigarettes can affect children’s hearts, brain cells, memories, concentration, and respiratory system and can cause seizures and heart failure.

He said the government needs to continue banning e- cigarette sales and imports as well as proactively enforce regulations against such products. The authorities recently found 70 e- cigarette shops located within 500- metre radiuses of schools and universities in Bangkok. Legal action against e- cigarette shops has been proposed to develop safety mechanisms.