All you need to know about vaping

Vaping is gaining popularity with youth. My teens claim everyone’s doing it and the statistics are showing a rise in use. In 2017, more Ontario students in grades 7-12 had used e-cigarettes compared to tobacco cigarettes. About one-in-ten students (around 80,800 in Ontario), report using more than just a few puffs of vape, with or without nicotine, in the past year.

Two women vaping outdoor. The evening sunset over the city. Toned image

Vapes also known as e-cigarettes , vape pens, mods and tank systems are battery operated devices that change a liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled.

An important question to ask ourselves is “should we be worried about vaping?”

The answer is yes! We should be worried. The vaping industry is marketing to youth with its fun shapes, colours, sizes and flavours. These products are made to resemble pens, USB sticks, cigarettes, cigars, pipes or everyday items. Due to this, vaping may go unnoticed  in schools and around the community.

But isn’t it better than smoking tobacco cigarettes? Dr. Denoble eloquently answered this question… “is it safer to jump off a 100 story building rather than a 300 story building, sure, but the end result is the same”. Watch The DeNoble files short 1 minute clip below to learn more about vaping.

Vaping is not harmless water. It can contain harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents.

There are currently no regulations for e-liquid therefore making it difficult to know exactly what’s in it. So you don’t really know what you’re inhaling! For instance, some e-liquids claim to have zero percent nicotine and in fact after testing, have been found to actually contain nicotine. Nicotine is unsafe for youth as their brains are still developing and it makes them more vulnerable to addiction. Nicotine use at a young age can also make it harder to learn, concentrate or control impulses.

Vaping is an emerging trend that can be scary to navigate with our kids. Here are 7 tips on how to talk to them about vaping:

  • Know the facts. Educate yourself so you can talk about it.
  • Help your kids plan ahead for social situations; this is most likely where vaping will be offered. Talk about how to avoid use and say no.
  • Encourage open conversations. This may be many small conversations over time. Try to find a natural time to discuss vaping, for example when you see someone using vaping products.
  • Ask your kids if they are vaping. Be patient, ready to listen and avoid judging.
  • Ask for support if needed from a health care provider or another trusted adult.
  • Be a positive role model; don’t use tobacco or vape products. If you do use tobacco, it’s never too late to quit. Get more info here: Halton Region Stop Smoking Clinic Information

Do you have experience with vaping? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

For parenting information or to speak with a public health nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Cynthia Lindsay RN

Hi everyone. My name is Cynthia Lindsay and I work as a public health nurse with the school years program. I've been a nurse for over 20 years (wow time flies!) with the last 13 years focused on what I've discovered to be my passion... Parenting. I now have many parenting accreditations and enjoy connecting with parents in the community through Triple P, parenting groups & social media. "Je parle aussi le français" and I love working, making connections, and raising my 2 teens with my hubby in Halton.
This entry was posted in Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs, Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teen Brain, Transition to High School and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to All you need to know about vaping

  1. Marion Burt says:

    I think that it would be good to advise parents not to panic if they discover that their kids are experimenting with vaping. Dr DeNoble may be eloquent, but his comment would seem to kids to be silly when compared to the conclusion drawn by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in England: vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. They reached this conclusion after considering all available research, including the studies that found almost undetectable traces of metal and minor amounts of other compounds that are actually everywhere in the environment, but blared dire warnings in their press releases.
    Of course parents should be concerned if their children start to vape, but they should be reassured that current longitudinal studies show that very few experimenters go on to become regular vapers. Even better, fewer than .5% of non-smoking minors who vape go on to become smokers. (This is from a large 3-years study in the UK, where vaping is supported by public health and the government.)
    Health Canada and the Ontario legislature have passed laws that will make it more difficult for kids to obtain vapes, and the vaping community in Canada is actually quite admirable in its ethics — most stores have refused entry to kids for years.

    • Thank you Marion for your interest in our blog about vaping. This blog was written to provide education and support to our parents around the topic of vaping, with tips to start a conversation with their youth. I agree that it’s important to have a positive relationship with your youth and not to panic if they are experimenting. As point #4 states: Be patient, ready to listen and avoid judging.

      Dr. Denoble does speak eloquently to the effects of nicotine which can often be found in the e-liquid. Nicotine addiction is well documented. We were surprised when we went shopping in a vape shop and purchased e-liquids that displayed prominently on the front of the bottle nicotine free, yet in the ingredient list there is in fact nicotine. It’s interesting that e-liquids can claim to be nicotine free even though they actually do contain nicotine. It’s important for our youth to understand this, so that experimentation does not develop into something more regular and eventually lead to addiction. Keep those lines of communication open.

      Thank you for making note of the new legislation. We are thankful that the Smoke Free Ontario 2017 finally became law October 17,2018 which will hopefully help keep vaping products out of the hands of our youth under 19 years of age.

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