Know the risks: Vaping and NS Youth
Vaping among NS Youth is on the rise.
Approximately 37% of all students in grades 7-12 report having "ever tried" an e-cigarette, as compared to 23% of Canadian students.
Vaping becomes more common as students get older.
49% of Nova Scotia students in grades 10-12 reported using an e-cigarette in the last 30 days.
What is vaping?
Vaping is when a used inhales vapour (ie. a heated liquid aerosol) produced by a vaping product. Vaping products are typically battery-operated devices that mimic the smoking experience. Vaping products go by many names. Most commonly:
Early models of these devices looked more like traditional cigarettes. In contrast, more recent models vary in shape and size; some resemble pens and USB flash drives, while others appear larger and bulkier with replaceable batteries.
JUUL is another type of vaping product that is becoming increasingly popular among youth. These devices heat up highly concentrated oil cartridges (known as pods) to create vapour. Nicotine content tends to be higher in these devices than most.
Contents of vaping liquids
Most vaping liquids (know as e-juice) are flavoured and contain toxic, cancer-causing metals, chemicals, and nicotine, which is highly addictive. In e-juice, nicotine and/or flavours are dissolved into a mixture of propylene glycol or glycerol.
- Some e-juice can have lower levels of nicotine
- Others can have higher levels of nicotine than whats found in a typical cigarette
- One single JUUL pod can contain a level of nicotine roughly equal to a whole pack of cigarettes
Exposure to Nicotine
Children and youth are highly susceptible to the negative effects of nicotine. Exposure to nicotine can:
- Alter the developing brain
- Affect memory, learning and attention
- Permanently lower impulse control
Vaping & Smoking
Vaping among youth and young adults is strongly linked to future cigarette use. Some evidence suggests vaping among youth is linked to alcohol use and other substance use, such as cannabis. Certain vaping products can also be used to deliver other drugs like cannabis (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016).
Want to know how to talk to your kids about Vaping? Click HERE to access a tip sheet.