Worrying rise in violence and vaping consumption among adolescents in Barcelona

Complaints for cases of violence against children and adolescents residents in Barcelona have been increasing, as well as the consumption of electronic cigarettes and the use of screens. These are some of the conclusions of the annual report of the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB), presented this Monday at a press conference.

In 2022, 833 complaints were registered in the Catalan capital for sexist violence against girls under 18 years of age.

Likewise, the Department of the Interior of the Generalitat registered only in Barcelona 896 complaints of violence against children or adolescents in 2022, with 57.9% of the victims being girls or boys, and increasing with age: girls between 12 and 17 years old had a higher rate (925.3 per 100,000 children and adolescents) regarding the boys.

Worrying consumption of electronic cigarettes

Regarding drug consumption, the ASPB report highlights the problem emerging that involves the use of electronic cigarettes in adolescents. Those who have a higher consumption of electronic cigarettes They are the students who are in the second year of ESO, with 22% of girls and 25% of boys, and it decreases with age, according to the 2021 Secondary School Student Risk Factor Survey – FRESC. Recently, the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFYC) already warned about the worrying increase in the use of vaping devices among young people, and the danger it poses because they have “the false sense that they are harmless“, when they are toxic and the gateway to traditional tobacco consumption.

In contrast, the health analysis in Barcelona does highlight a positive trend as far as substances are concerned, and it registers a decrease in the consumption of cannabis in the last 30 days in the adolescent population, especially in boys (14% in 2016 and 8% in 2021, according to the same FRESC survey.

Use of screens

The use of the screens (mobile phones, computers, video game consoles…) by adolescents constitutes another of the issues analyzed in the ASPB report. The mobile phone is the most used device by far, both by girls and boys.

In 2021, the average daily hours of screen use, outside of school hours in Barcelona, ​​was four hours on the part of the teenage girls; while the guys they used some three and a half hours daily.

Related news

On the other hand, boys make greater use of video game consoles, with an average of 55 minutes per day; while girls spend an average of 16 minutes a day on this type of entertainment.

Likewise, the use of screens is also higher in students from educational centers located in less favored neighborhoods.