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  

addictions

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regional fire crews initiate rope rescue for stranded trio

Regional fire rescue recovered couple and their dog from steep cliff

UPDATED: Slocan River drowning victim’s body recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

79 calls to Trail RCMP over August long

Break & enters, mental health calls, and public intoxication are included in the Trail RCMP summary

International Cat Day today #meow

On International Cat Day please share photos of your love-able felines

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read