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Vaping: The dangers of youth's new nicotine addiction


A youth holds a vaping device.
Youth are the key target of companies that produce nicotine products.

Vaping among youth is a real health concern. There's been an increase in young people experimenting with vaping and becoming addicted. Youth may want to try vaping to fit in with their peers, to try out the many different flavors available (like melon bubble-gum or cotton candy), or because they think it looks cool.

Vaping is not harmless

However, it’s never a good idea to inhale nicotine, cannabis, or other harmful chemicals that can damage the lungs. Our bodies need fresh air to breathe in order to feel good and be healthy. We need to look after our bodies and this means looking after our lungs too!

It’s so important for young people to know the damage that vaping can have on their health. Vaping products contain many harmful chemicals including flavourings like diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease (popcorn lung), and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead.

Long-term effects are unknown

The long-term effects of vaping are unknown and exposure to second-hand vapour may also cause injury. Nicotine can be very addictive and vaping nicotine can lead to dependence and addiction. Vaping can affect the developing brain, cause mood swings, and increase anxiety. Physical symptoms may include an increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Vaping devices can be very dangerous and lead to injuries, as they can explode or start on fire.

Corporate tobacco companies target youth as they attempt to addict a new generation to nicotine. Whether that’s through vaping alone or exploring other tobacco products like cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or cigars, they are all intertwined in a billion-dollar industry that needs new clientele.

Put your health first and don’t start vaping. If you vape, quit.

If you or someone you know is interested in quitting or decreasing their vapour use, encourage them to talk to their primary care provider (such as a doctor or nurse practitioner).

For more quitting resources you can access free information, support, and counseling by trained professionals by phone, text, or email through quitnow.ca.

More vaping information and resources