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

Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

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 (representing 546,000 people) were uncertain whether the product they were using had nicotine or not.

Meanwhile, 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

KFD, COSAR rescue injured hiker in Kelowna

Rescue happened after 1 p.m. on Lost Lake Trail after woman injured her leg

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Free GolfBC Championship hits Kelowna golf course

Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club hosts the Mackenzie Tour June 13

Okanagan FC kicks off regular season Saturday night

OKFC starts their inaugural season of the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) in Penticton

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Neighbours help save Okanagan garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire enough before BX-Swan Lake firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

UBC researchers want to hear from rural residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Trail played role during fur trade era

Fur Brigade Trail in Okanagan has long history

Most Read