Many teens don’t know that they’re inhaling nicotine while vaping. (File photo)

Many teens unaware if they’re vaping nicotine or not

Health Canada survey finds many youth are unaware of the risks of using nicotine products

Health experts are urging youth to stop using nicotine products after seeing a continuous rise in the use of e-cigarettes, also known as vapes.

Of significant concern is the fact that many youth don’t know what they’re inhaling.

In a 2017 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey put forward by Health Canada, it was found that 12 per cent of people (representing 546,000 people) were uncertain whether the product they were using had nicotine or not.

Meanwhile, a similar student-focused survey found that one in 10 students in grades 7-12 were unaware of how much a person risked harming themselves if they used an e-cigarette once in awhile or on a regular basis.

ALSO READ: Concern over student vaping grows in Vancouver Island schools

“If you are using vaping products, stop now. If you don’t vape, don’t start. Vaping exposes users to harmful chemicals and many young people do not know they are inhaling nicotine,” wrote the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health in a release.

“Nicotine is highly addictive and can have harmful impacts on the brain, affecting memory and concentration in everyone and brain development in youth and young adults. It alters parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control. Early exposure to nicotine in adolescence may increase the severity of future dependence to nicotine and tobacco.”

ALSO READ: B.C. school locks bathrooms after too many students caught vaping

New products on the vaping market, including pods and salts, also contain extremely high levels of nicotine. A single nicotine pod will expose the user to the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes, the council said.

In Canada people must be 18 to make a tobacco-related purchase. Regardless, data from Health Canada says that 23 per cent of students in grades 7-12 have tried e-cigarettes.

Part of this problem is due to the easy accessibility to vapes and vaping products through social circles. In a 2016-2017 Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Survey, less than a quarter of surveyed students bought their devices from a store.

Vaping devices are designed and marketed to be appealing to youth, the council said, due to their novel designs and attractive flavours.

In the 2017 survey it was found that 69 per cent of 15- to 19-year-olds who had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, used fruit-flavoured product, while 62 per cent of 20- to 24-year-olds did the same.

ALSO READ: Health Canada to educate teens on health risks of vaping

In May 2018, Canada passed into law the new Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, which puts into place more restrictions in an effort to prevent youth from vaping.

The Act restricts advertising of vaping products across all media channels. Any ads that do exist cannot link vaping with an exciting lifestyle or use cartoons, sponsors, endorsements or giveaways to entice people to make a purchase. Designs are also now more limited so that vapes can’t be “particularly appealing to youth” including having interesting shapes or sounds. Dessert flavoured products also must have limited advertisement.

At this point it is too early to tell if these preventative measures are working, but in the meantime the Canadian government launched a 2019 education campaign called “Consider the Consequences of Vaping” to try to make people more aware of the risks.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Five Halloween activities for adults to celebrate the spooky season

Halloween isn’t just for little ghouls in Greater Victoria

Central Saanich changes incentives for housing developments

Changes shift incentives for some developments from development cost charges to building permit fees

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read