The Health Unit wants to educate people on the hazards of vaping. The most recent data (Ontario Student Drug Use and Mental Health Survey 2017) shows 11 per cent of youth in grades seven to 12 have used e-cigarettes or vapes in the past year.

Health Promoter Rebecca Shams says vaping appeals to youth. She says it’s the cool factor with the clouds and the ability to do tricks with the fake smoke. Shams says the flavours also play a part in its popularity amongst youth.

She says the majority of youth who start vaping never smoked cigarettes.

You have to be 19-years or older to buy vape products, but Shams says kids have access through online sales.

She says because of the high dose delivery of nicotine, vaping is highly addictive. Shams noted it takes between 48 and 72 hours to get addicted to nicotine using vapes. She says it’s taking cigarettes to a whole new level.

Shams says US studies show the number of youth vaping has doubled since 2017. Data is not available for Ontario because the Drug Use survey is only done every two years.

Shams says vaping is not safe and education is the best way to combat the trend.

Written by: Jennifer Westendorp