Ottawa, ON - The Canadian Lung Association is gravely concerned about the continued increase in vaping rates among Canadian youth. A recently published study in JAMA Pediatrics Journal has shown that Canadian youth continue to reach for e-cigarettes at alarming rates.
“These results are very worrisome. It shows that we collectively need to do much more to protect our youth. And the time is now,” says Terry Dean, President and CEO of the Canadian Lung Association.
“At a time when the lung health of Canadians, and indeed the world, is at the forefront, it is incumbent on all of us to take the vaping epidemic seriously.”
The Canadian Lung Association has been consistently raising the alarm on this issue, including collaborating with like-minded organizations to speak to Parliamentary decision makers and co-developing a national campaign with Heart & Stroke that shed light on the dangers of youth-friendly flavours in vaping products. In addition to inadequate flavour restrictions, the current levels of nicotine allowed in vaping products are three times those allowed in Europe.
Despite collective public health education efforts, the new study has shown that the number of Canadians aged 16 to 19 who reported having vaped in the previous month had more than doubled since 2017, from 8.4 per cent to 17.8 per cent in 2019. The study further shows that the number of young people who have ever tried vaping also rose significantly to 40.6 per cent from 29.3 per cent in 2017. This translates to more than four out of 10 youth experimenting with vaping.
“These results are alarming, but sadly not surprising,” adds Dean. “This data simply reinforces that our work is far from finished and education is not enough. We need stricter measures to restrict youth access, including a more comprehensive flavour ban, limiting promotion and reducing maximum nicotine limits.”
For more information about e-cigarettes, resources and protecting youth from addiction, visit www.lung.ca/vaping.