Electronic Cigarettes

What is an e-cigarette?

  • Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devises that vapourize liquid in a cartridge. The liquid is known as e-liquid or vape juice and comes in many different flavours. Users inhale the vapour.
  • Using an e-cigarette is usually called “vaping.” E-cigarettes are sometimes called “vapes.”
  • E-liquids are available in different strengths of nicotine, and also without nicotine.

Are there health risks from using e-cigarettes?

  • There are potential health risks linked with using e-cigarettes, but more research is needed. People who do not smoke should not start vaping.
  • Vaping e-liquid with nicotine puts users at risk of addiction. this risk could increase as vaping technology improves.
  • Vaping doubles the risk of smoking cigarettes for teens
  • Some ingredients in e-liquid include propylene glycol and diacetyl. These can irritate the lungs. The health effects of inhaling them over the long-term are unknown. 
  • The government does not control the production of e-cigarettes. This means that these products have not been fully checked for safety and quality by Health Canada
  • E-cigarette vapour can contain formaldehyde and heavy metals like cadmium, nickel, zinc and lead. 
  • Vapour released into the air can result in second-hand exposure to vapour compounds.
  • The most common side effects of using e-cigarettes are sore throat, dry cough and headaches.

Quitting smoking?

  • People who are trying to quit smoking should speak to their health care provider about available options to help them quit.
  • E-cigarettes have less toxic substances than regular tobacco cigarettes. This means that are likely much less harmful. People who completely switch from smoking to vaping would reduce their exposure to these substances. However, there are still potential health risks with using e-cigarettes, as we do not know the long-term effects of using these products.
  • In some conditions, people may find that e-cigarettes can help them quit smoking.
  • More research is needed on how e-cigarettes could be used as a quit-smoking aid.

The law

  • In Ontario, it is illegal to sell or supply e-cigarettes, e-juice and the component parts to anyone under 19 years of age.
  • E-cigarettes that make a health claim (for example, that they can help you quit smoking) cannot be legally sold in Canada
  • Learn more about Ontario’s electronic cigarette rules

Resources to help with talking to your kids about vaping:

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