In Italy, one in four 13- to 15-year-old students has used a product between cigarettes, e-cigs and heated tobacco products (Htp) at least once in the past month, and nearly one in three has smoked a ‘traditional’ cigarette at least once in their lifetime. That’s according to data, released today by the Iss, from the fourth edition of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (Gyts) surveillance, conducted every four years on a sample of 13-15-year-olds in Italian schools, which for the first time sees a higher percentage of use among females than males for all products considered.

The survey also recorded insufficient adherence to the school smoking ban, high exposure of boys to secondhand smoke, at home or in the car, and high accessibility to all products despite the bans. Among 13- to 15-year-olds, from 2010 to 2022, the share of current smokers (have used traditional cigarettes/e-cigs/Htp at least one day in the past month) declined on average from 21% to 16% (i.e., from 19% to 13% for boys and from 22% to 17% for girls). The vast majority make concomitant use of traditional cigarettes, e-cigs, and heated tobacco products, while only 2% of the sample make exclusive use of traditional cigarettes.

Increased e-cig use, which detected for the first time with the 2018 survey, rose in 4 years from 18% to 20%, as a result of a decrease among boys from 22% to 18% and an increase among girls from 13% to 21%. Heated tobacco device (HTP), recorded for the first time in the 2022 survey, is used by 14% of current users (12% boys and 16% girls).

The share of ever smokers (have used traditional cigarettes/e-cigs/heated tobacco at least one day in their lifetime) of cigarettes decreased from 46% in 2010 to 33% in 2022. For electronic cigarettes, ever users also decrease from 43% in 2018 to 33% in 2022, and for HTP the 2022 figure is 23%.

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