Vaping by teens has dramatically increased over the last few years, and so have health concerns about youth vaping.
In the latest BC Adolescent Health Survey, 21 per cent of B.C. students, grades 7 to 12, reported having used nicotine-containing vaping products. A recent study has shown an increase in the prevalence of vaping among adolescents aged 16 to 19 years in Canada by 6 percentage points.
The popularity of vaping products is in part due to their availability, the variety of appealing flavoured products, and the ever-expansion of novel design and technology of the devices. Some youth have stated that they vape because their friends are vaping or they consider vaping to be less harmful than smoking.
However, vaping is not completely harmless as it increases exposure to harmful chemicals and may lead to nicotine addiction.
Start the conversation
You can have open conversations with your teen to understand their underlying reasons and motivations for wanting to use vaping products. Take advantage of situations where you can talk about vaping. For example, when passing by a group of teenagers who are vaping.
During these interactions, discuss the facts and correct any misconceptions. Avoid criticism and encourage an open dialogue. Remember, the goal is to have a meaningful conversation.
Here are some facts you can share:
- “Vaping is still harmful, even if it could be safer than smoking cigarettes.”
- “E-juice contains chemicals, flavourings, and often nicotine. When this liquid is heated, many chemicals are produced, some of which may cause cancer, lung disease, and heart disease.”
- “Nicotine is addictive, and harmful to the developing brain. Nicotine exposure during youth can cause problems with concentration, learning, and impulse control.”
- “It is illegal for anyone to sell, purchase, or give a vaping product to anyone under 19 years old.”
- “Vaping is not allowed in all places that smoking is not allowed, this applies to inside schools and on school property.”
Get support and keep the conversation going
Visit the Fraser Health website for detailed information about vaping products, including youth vaping trends, the legislation in place to protect children and youth, and additional resources. Do not expect to have just one conversation with your child about the risks of vaping, and the benefits of living free from smoking and vaping.