Twelve high school students received awards from Dr. Zoltán Maruzsa, Secretary of State for Education of the Ministry of Interior, and Dr. Marcell Biró, President of the Authority for the Supervision of Regulated Activities, at the announcement of the results of the video competition against Elf Bar in Budapest, Hirado.hu reported. The students made short films for their peers, in which they drew attention to the dangers of Elf Bar, disposable vape devices.
The competition was open to short films, which could also be shown on social media, that not only highlighted the dangers, but also the efforts that society is making against the use of Elf Bars. Speaking at the award ceremony, Dr. Marcell Biró said that
Hungary has been actively fighting to reduce under-age smoking for more than 10 years.
In his speech, Dr. Zoltán Maruzsa, Secretary of State for Education, stressed that schools are not only a place where students learn subjects, but also a place where education is provided. Schools educate children to protect their health, fight against behavior that society considers inappropriate, set an example for children, and point out the differences between right and wrong.
A single Elf Bar device contains the nicotine equivalent of three or even 16 packets of cigarettes, and the user has no control over the amount of nicotine he or she smokes in one sitting. Inhaling nicotine can cause chest pain, dizziness, vomiting and even spitting up blood.
The Elf Bar, a disposable electric cigarette with a pre-filled battery pack and liquid, has become extremely popular among young people in recent months.
The product is specifically designed for young people, and since it comes in several flavors, can quickly become addictive.
The story of Elf Bar began with an American product called JUUL, which was copied in China after its success, and that is how the current product was born. The company, Elf Bar vapes, is based in California, US and their products are manufactured in China. The Elf craze hit Europe after the Australian market closed and Chinese products started to arrive uncontrolled by sea.
Since Elf Bar is a banned product in Hungary, it was distributed through an increasing number of black market dealer networks and got into the hands of minors.
Hungarian authorities are now monitoring parcels coming from China and trying to identify those who bring nicotine products intended for young people into the country. In many cases, the products are reportedly coming from Slovakia. It was reported in September that the Hungarian Competition Authority has ordered the temporary closure of two Slovak-owned online stores that advertise Elf Bar products and e-cigarettes to Hungarian customers.
In the summer, Bence Rétvári, Political Secretary of State at the Ministry of the Interior, warned that the Elf Bar is particularly dangerous because of its unknown, untested, and unreliable composition and its very high nicotine content. He recalled that the government had taken action to protect the health of young people as soon as the illegal product appeared.
Although there is no binding regulation at the EU level, in Hungary not only the marketing of the product but also its possession is illegal under law.
Parliament was forced to take action and adopted stricter legislation on July 19. As a result, retailers of unauthorized tobacco products can be fined a deterrent amount.
Meanwhile, it is not only Elf Bar that poses a threat to young people’s health, but also energy drinks, which have become a fashion item among them. A high proportion of young people, particularly school-age children, still consume energy drinks, and the government thinks it is important to raise awareness of this issue through various programs.
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