By Nicholas Chadi, Canadian Paediatric Society, April 14, 2021
Initially presented by the industry as a smoking cessation tool for adults, e-cigarettes (or vapes) have become increasingly popular among adolescents, the majority of whom did not previously smoke cigarettes. In 2019, according to Health Canada data, 36% of adolescents aged 15 to 19 reported having tried vaping at some point, with 15% having vaped in the previous 30 days. More recent data from 2020 suggests that these rates have remained largely unchanged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rapid increase in rates of youth vaping is likely due to a combination of factors. Youth-friendly flavours and vaping products, youth-directed advertisements, including social media content from high visibility influencers, low cost, the possibility to vape discretely, easy access through social and online sources, high nicotine content, and low perceived risk are some of the main factors. (Read more)