New study shows an increase in young people taking up vaping
A new study shows that teenagers are vaping more than ever before.
The study shows a 74 per cent vaping rate among young Canadians ages 16 to 19, as well as a 45 per cent increase in smoking among teenagers within the same age range.
“I think there’s a lot of misperception around the harms of these products as well,” said Kelly Cull of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Cull says the majority of people who are using vaping products, and becoming addicted, are young people who have never used these types of products before.
The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the Nova Scotia government to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21.
“We know the vast majority of young people who access tobacco or vaping products when they are underage, do so from a friend who is of legal age,” said Cull. “Twenty-one removes the legal purchaser from the high school setting.”
The medical community says the increase in vaping makes it difficult to help those who become addicted, as they are still trying to determine the long-term health concerns that come with vaping.
“With e-cigarette use, we don’t fully understand the impact of inhaling propylene glycol into your lungs over a long period of time,” said Cull.
Jody Watt, the operation manager at a vape shop in Halifax, told CTV News in an email: "As retailers, we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that our products stay out of the hands of minors, and that minors stay out of our stores."
Watt also said: "Any employee found to have sold our product to a minor could be fired, and reported to Health Canada, and will personally face up to a $2,000 fine."
Keith Dunphy, 38, says he started vaping because it was less expensive than smoking cigarettes, but he agrees these products should stay far away from the hands of young people.
“I would try to get everyone to stay away from it, but if they are going to do it, try and go minimal. You don’t need to overdo it,” said Dunphy.
Nova Scotia Health Minister Randy Delorey says the government has already taken action with the issue of vaping.
“Predecessor Minister Glavine brought in significant changes to regulate and bring vaping, and e-cigarette products under the Smoke-free Places Act.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Paul Hollingsworth