A high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus. File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Health Canada to educate teens on health risks of vaping

Officials have long cautioned that nicotine poses an elevated risk to youth

Health Canada is ramping up efforts to warn young Canadians about the potential risks associated with vaping, the agency said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Maryse Durette said the government body has launched a multi-phase campaign to tackle what it sees as an increasing problem among youth.

“The vaping market is evolving rapidly, with the regular introduction of new products into Canada,” Durette said in a statement outlining the planned campaign.

”We are aware of both anecdotal information and unpublished research showing increases in the rate at which Canadian youth are trying and using vaping products.”

Durette said the first phase of the campaign got underway last month and featured paid and social media ads urging parents to start discussing vaping health risks with their kids.

READ MORE: Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

The next step, set to launch next month, is aimed squarely at the teens themselves. Durette said the campaign will feature both paid ads and hands-on learning events in high schools and community venues targeting youth between the ages of 13 and 18. Social media influencers will also be involved to help reach parents and teens alike, she added.

Health Canada said much of the research around youth vaping is still in its early stages, adding it could not provide firm figures for Canadian vaping rates. But Durette said both unpublished research as well as international data paint an alarming picture.

A study released in the U.S. last month prompted a warning from the country’s top physician amid reports that e-cigarettes and other vaping devices were undermining decades of declines in tobacco use.

A federally funded University of Michigan study that’s been tracking teen substance use for more than four decades documented an unprecedented spike in the number of teens using e-cigarettes. The study, released last month, found the number of teens using the devices last year had doubled from the one before — the largest single-year increase in the survey’s 44-year history, far surpassing a mid-1970s surge in marijuana smoking.

Separate U.S. government research found an estimated 3.6 million U.S. teens are now using e-cigarettes, representing one in five high school students and one in 20 middle schoolers.

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have been sold in the U.S. since 2007, growing into a US$6.6-billion business. Most devices heat a flavoured nicotine solution into an inhalable vapour.

While research on the effects of vaping is still taking shape, officials in Canada and abroad have long cautioned that nicotine poses an elevated risk to youth.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Man found dead in Sicamous near vehicle linked to suspicious death in Edmonton

The man was found dead on the evening of July 11, 2020

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Shuswap Royal Canadian Legion branches happy to be open again

With COVID-19 restrictions easing, the legion halls are back.

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read