A vape or e-cigarette is a battery-operated device that heats up a mixture of liquid chemicals into an aerosol that is then inhaled.
Mechanics of Vaping – Health Canada Video
A vape or e-cigarette is a battery-operated device that heats up a liquid chemical into an aerosol that is then inhaled.
This is often called vaping. E-liquids or “E-juice” do not contain tobacco. However, most of these products contain substantial amounts of nicotine which is the addictive substance also found in cigarettes. Other chemicals and metals are found in e-liquids. Some of these chemicals are the same ones found in tobacco cigarettes.
Vaping has not been proven to be a helpful quitting aid. Nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, inhalers and gum do not heat nicotine so using these products to manage cravings does not expose the user to the types of chemicals that are found in tobacco and vaping products.
It’s just water vapour right? False! E-cigarettes may be less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, but that does not make them safe!
A recent study found that vaping youth had a number of chemicals that could be detected in bodies.
If you don’t smoke, don’t vape.
Common terms for e-cigarettes include:
Vaping tanks are devices that can be refilled when empty and can be parts modified. They may allow the user to turn the heat up or down. Turning the heat up creates larger vapour clouds, but is known to also increase the amount of nicotine and chemicals inhaled. There are also products specifically on the market to vape cannabis.
Most e-liquids include a mixture of:
Once heated, e-liquids (e-juice) contain a number of chemical compounds that are known to be harmful to human health. Some of these are the same ones found in tobacco cigarettes:
Metals such as nickel, tin, and lead have also been found in vaping aerosol.
Flavour ingredients in vaping liquids are also a concern. The Flavour and Extract Manufacturers Associations warns that their flavours were not designed to be heated and inhaled and state some flavours are known to cause respiratory damage.
For example, saccharides are used to make e-juice flavours that are sweet, but this ingredient can degrade and produce furans and aldehydes that are known to cause respiratory irritation.
Vaping Nicotine is highly addictive, especially for the growing teen brain. It may lead to difficulty concentrating, problems with impulse control and there is evidence that nicotine addiction can lead to use of other drugs. For more about the health concerns for youth.
The Breath of Stress Air Campaign explains the process of addiction and impact on mental health. Watch Ethan as he explains the impact of vaping on his mood:
Hear Ethan's story about why he quit vaping - YouTube
Other health concerns include
Dry Nose and Throat Irritation
Germs and Infectious Diseases
Long-term Health Effects
There have been reports of explosions related to batteries in e-cigarettes and issues with charging cords. Caution should be used with batteries, altering of products and use of charging cords.
Quitting nicotine – it can be a challenge. Having support and making a plan will help you be successful but it may take several tries, maybe more to quit for good. Slips are part of the journey. Just keeping trying because each time you quit, you will learn something new about what works for you.
A note about vaping. The best thing to do to protect your health is to quit smoking and to quit vaping. Both cause long-term health effects. It is best to use proven quit methods and approved health products such as Nicotine Replacement products.
Student Health Centres in Grey Bruce Schools
Book an appointment with a School Health Nurse at your school. They are available to provide:
To book an appointment at your school:
When you're ready to quit smoking or vaping, the Quash app will help you progress through each stage of your quit journey. Make a quit plan that works for you. Quash smoking or vaping! www.quashapp.com.
Talk Tobacco is a free, confidential telephone service operated by the Canadian Cancer Society offering culturally appropriate support and information about quitting smoking, vaping and commercial tobacco use to Indigenous communities.
CHOICES Drug and Alcohol Counselling Program
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Many Family Health Teams offer counselling to support quitting. Also, many family health teams offer the STOP program which includes free nicotine replacement therapy. A doctor or nurse may be able to offer youth and young adults quit support and free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (nicotine patches, and/or gum to help manage cravings).
Make a quit plan and learn how to use Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Self Help Resources
Resources to help you on your way. (Information from U.S)
For more information, visit; How The Act Affects: Schools
Smoking and Vaping laws in Ontario: What does it mean for students and school staff - Infographic
Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey
Public Health Ontario: Current Evidence on E-cigarettes: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/literature-review-ecigarettes.pdf?la=en
Prevalence of vaping and smoking among adolescents in Canada, England, and the United States: repeat national cross sectional surveys: https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/365/bmj.l2219.full.pdf
Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes: http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2018/public-health-consequences-of-e-cigarettes.aspx
Canadian Dental Association: https://www.cda-adc.ca/en/services/essentials/2015/issue4/files/assets/basic-html/page34.html
Surgeon General Report on E-cigarettes: https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/resources.html
Canadian Paediatric Society Position Statement on E-cigarettes: https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/e-cigarettes
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