World No Tobacco Day May 31st – Concern about rise in local youth vaping
Like many regions, Grey Bruce is experiencing a rise in youth vaping. Youth who vape are at increased risk of smoking.
Vaping is a significant issue for Health Unit Enforcement Officers along with school principals, teachers and bus drivers. Students are vaping in schools, school washrooms and on school buses.
Health Unit Enforcement Officers have already issued five times as many tickets related to vaping this year than in all of last year. So far in 2019, Enforcement Officers have issued 25 tickets for vaping in a prohibited place. That compares with five in all of 2018. The fine and fees for a ticket related to vaping on school property is $305. In addition, Enforcement Officers have issued 9 youth diversion programs for students under 16 years. This program diverts first time young offenders (aged 12 to 16 years) of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 from the courts and supports positive youth development.
This uptake in vaping threatens to turn back the clock to reduce tobacco use. Research shows that youth who vape are at increased risk for moving on to cigarettes. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Health report Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes concludes, “There is substantial evidence that e-cigarette use increases risk of ever using combustible tobacco cigarettes among youth and young adults.”
“Vaping may seem low risk, but there is growing evidence it causes serious harm to the lungs, heart and respiratory system.” says Brooke Tomsett, Youth Advisor in the Tobacco Prevention Program. “When heated and inhaled, the ingredients in e-liquids affect lung function. Many products have high amounts of nicotine that increase the risk for addiction.”
Public Health is encouraging parents and youth to be informed about the risks of these products. For more information, visit www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca
For More Information:
Brooke Tomsett, Youth Advisor,
Tobacco Prevention Program, Grey Bruce Health Unit
519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1264