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.
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 6 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.
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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.