To better understand
Vaping refers to the use of electronic cigarettes. The widespread use of electronic cigarettes (also known as vapes, vape mods, vape pods, and other names, depending on the trademark) in the past few years has been cause for concern and with good reason.
Vaping has become very popular with teenagers, who too often do not realize that e-cigarettes can contain nicotine. In addition to its powerful addictive properties, nicotine is known to alter brain development in teens, affecting memory and concentration. Because of the newness of this product, its health effects are still unknown. However, cases of vaping-related lung disease have been reported in recent months (see box below). One thing is certain, vaping is not harmless. And the message is clear: vaping by teens is a big no-no!
The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux has issued a warning regarding vaping products with or without nicotine.
• 10% of teenagers in the Montérégie region (approximately 7,000) use e-cigarettes;
• Twice as many boys as girls in grades 10 and 11 vape;
• 15% of students who have never smoked cigarettes have tried e-cigarettes.
Want to learn more?
Check out our information sheets for more statistics, key facts, and solutions for families, schools, and communities.
To better support
- Find out about what is in e-cigarettes and talk to your teen about it.
- Discuss your teen’s (or their friends’) use of e-cigarettes, trendy products, the related costs.
- Stress how hard it is to quit vaping because of the strength of nicotine addiction.
- Express your disapproval if your teen starts vaping but do not overreact if they tell you they tried it once.
- Discuss and set clear rules about avoiding e-cigarettes.
- Support the school in applying its policy on smoke-free environments.
- Be aware of how your behaviour influences your teenagers’.
- Take an interest in your teen’s activities, outings, and friends.
- Help your teen in their efforts to quit vaping by contacting the school nurse or one of the Smoking cessation centres.
- Establish a smoke-free environment at home and in the car, including vaping.
Whether it is smoking or vaping, teenagers need to assert themselves and stand up to their friends’ influence. As a parent, you can help them do this by showing them some techniques for saying no:
- Humour: “No, I’d rather do (something ridiculous) than vape!’’
- Polite refusal: “No thanks, I don’t vape.”
- Psychology: Return the question to the other person, without judgement: “Why do you vape?”
- Broken record: Always give the same answer: “No, thanks!”
- Facts: “Did you know that there’s usually nicotine in vapes, and that it only takes a few puffs to get addicted?”
- The draw of e-cigarettes is very powerful.
- Many e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a fact of which a lot of people are unaware.
- Known to create a powerful addiction, nicotine also has harmful effects on brain development.
- The long-term effects of vaping are still unknown.
Resources and practical tools
1. For support:
If you are dealing with a situation that has you worried, do not hesitate to reach out to a support worker or a health and social services professional:
2. To learn more:
Tobacco-Free Quebec website
Government of Canada’s tip sheet on vaping
Also see our En mode ado section about smoking:
Latest updates : February 2020