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Disposable E-cig Elf Bar becoming Popular among Youngsters in Hungary, Raising Issues

Ábrahám Vass 2022.06.13.

An increasing number of Hungarian teenagers are now smoking Elf Bars, a disposable e-cigarette, several recent press reports confirm. Although the vape is less harmful than normal cigarettes, the phenomenon still provides cause for some worry.

Fact

Elf Bar is a disposable, battery-powered, pre-filled electronic cigarette with a liquid cartridge, available in a variety of “puff capacities”, flavors and colors, and nicotine strengths. Apparently, the product is aimed specifically at youngsters, at least this is what available tastes, its look and a culture around it hints. It probably comes from China.

While Western outlets report that they are becoming popular in virtually all groups of youngsters, in Hungary it is mostly teenagers who are using it. Although there is no detailed information available, Elf Bar usage has reportedly become very popular, even in elementary schools, often leading to disciplinary issues. And although they are illegal in Hungary, meaning they are not available in shops at all, they are still easy to buy via the internet. And not only, they are legal both in neighboring Slovakia and Romania.

While they appear less harmful than cigarettes, they may still be dangerous for a number of reasons. Renowned Hungarian toxicologist Gábor Zacher confirms that Elf Bar is very trendy now. “If we look at the overall picture (…) the most important thing is that all forms of smoking are worse than non-smoking. With that said, all we can say is that Elf Bar is probably less harmful than a traditional cigarette, because the latter has pyrolysis, paper burning, and a lot of compounds. But overall, it is not a cause for celebration, he argues, explaining that the problem is that most Elf Bars contain nicotine, which leads to addiction. Although there are zero percent bars, the most popular editions are usually available with 2 or 5% nicotine content. The shortest-life 600-tablet, 2% Elf Bar has 20 mg of nicotine, which means a full carton is the equivalent of two and a half packs of cigarettes. Another problem is that Elf Bar smokers do not become smelly during smoking, which undermines negative campaigns.

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A surgeon also revealed the dangers recently. In a video on TikTok, which up until now has gained some 1 million views, András Kulja admits that it does not contain carcinogenic substances like e-cigarettes but it still poses a significant threat to health. It may lead to addiction, may damage the body while it is the most environmentally-polluting tobacco product.

featured image via Elf Bar Hungary- Facebook


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