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If You Don't Smoke, Don't Vape

When it comes to vaping, there is more that we don't know than what we do know about how it will affect your health long term:

  • Vaping is not harmless - both the short and long-term health effects are still being studied. So if you choose to vape, you are volunteering to be the guinea pigs or lab rats that will help us determine the good, the bad and the ugly health effects of vaping.
  • Many e-juices contain nicotine, the ingredient in cigarettes that makes them so addictive. Ask anyone who smokes regularly how hard it is to break the addiction.
  • We know from studying the effects of smoking that nicotine can alter the developing brain. Your brain continues to develop into your mid-20s and the nicotine can affect learning, attention, mood and impulse control.
  • E-cigarette juices can also contain heavy metals, flavouring that has been linked to serious lung disease, cancer causing chemicals and fine particles that get into your lungs.
  • There is growing evidence that youth who vape go on to smoke cigarettes. This makes sense when you think about it's an addiction to nicotine and cigarettes can give you the fix you need.
  • Many vape companies are owned by the tobacco companies. With smoking rates down among youth and young adults, it provides the industry with a new device to get you addicted to their products. That means profits for them. What it means for you is unknown, since the long-term health effects have not yet been identified.

Hard to identify, easy to use

New vaping devices are regularly coming on to the market and are designed to be easily disguised or hidden. That makes them easy to use without being detected or noticed by parents and teachers who don't know what they are looking at.

One of the latest to hit Canada is the Juul. According to the manufacturer, a single Juul pod contains as much nicotine as a regular size (20) packages of cigarettes. They use nicotine salts rather than nicotine liquid (used in cigarettes) so inhaling is smoother on the throat but also makes it easy to vape high levels of nicotine. In the U.S., Juul is the most popular with youth/young adults with over 70% of the market. It offers the nicotine pods in many attractive flavours.

How do e-cigarettes work?
  • E-cigarettes/vapes have a battery, a heating element and a place to hold a liquid.
  • They work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol, or mix of small particles in the air that you then inhale.
  • They come in many shapes and sizes - some look like regular cigarettes, some like USB flash drives, pens and other everyday items.
  • Larger devices such as tank systems, or mods, do not look like other tobacco products. The kind that use tanks are fill-your-own, while mods pods are pre-sealed. Fill-your-own tanks can be used to vape cannabis and other substances.
  • Using an e-cigarette is sometimes called vaping or "JUULing" (after one popular brand).
Shapes and sizes of e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes can come in any shapes - with tanks, slim and cylindrical, or like USB sticks, making them easy to disguise if you don't know what you are looking at. Some, like the Juul, are recharged by plugging them into a computer or phone charger.
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