This content was sponsored by Health Canada, but opinions are my own.
Do you remember growing up getting “the talk” about smoking? Did it leave an impact? Some of us may have gotten that talk and felt that our parents didn’t know all the facts, or perhaps you even had a smoker in the family–and well, that likely didn’t help that conversation. Today, while youth smoking has seen a downward trend, vaping has experienced an increase amongst Canadian teens. Data from a recent Health Canada survey showed that 23% of students in grades 7–12 have tried an electronic cigarette.
Most of us remember the shock and dismay of family members when our friends were spotted smoking as teens, and even today, it’s not culturally accepted in most of my circles. Modern parents have so much to monitor and talk to kids about: cell phones, social media use, screen time, sex, behaviour, homework etc. but now add to this a battery-powered device that delivers nicotine through a liquid that turns into vapour when inhaled.
The reality is that there are health risks associated to vaping and getting the facts before you have “the talk” is key, especially if you’re going to have any influence over your teen’s choices. Vaping is now a growing concern among the 13-18 age group.
Health Canada advises that, for smokers, vaping is less harmful than smoking, however, vaping is not for youth and non-smokers. Moreover, vaping is not harmless, yet Canadian teens are trying vaping products. Starting the conversation around vaping will help to put misconceptions to rest and minimize your teen’s risk of nicotine addiction, chemical exposure and potential long-term health consequences.
Here’s what you need to know:
Vaping is not harmless
- Vaping can increase your exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Vaping can lead to nicotine addiction.
- The long-term consequences of vaping are unknown.
- It’s rare but defective batteries in vaping products have caused fires and explosions.
Did you know? Vaping nicotine can alter teen brain development.
Vaping can lead to nicotine addiction
- Vaping can expose you to nicotine, which is addictive.
- Vaping nicotine can alter teen brain development.
- Vaping can deliver nicotine to your brain, causing you to crave it more.
- Not all vaping liquids contain nicotine, but for those that do, the level of nicotine can vary widely. Some mixtures have very low levels, while others can contain more nicotine than a typical cigarette.
Concerned about nicotine addiction?
- It is not safe for youth to use any nicotine products, including cigarettes and vaping products. If you suspect your child is addicted to nicotine, talk to your healthcare provider.
Wondering how to start the conversation?
It’s important to have an open, on-going conversation with your teens. For more facts and ideas on how to have the conversation visit Talking with your Teens about Vaping tip sheet or for more information about the health risks of vaping visit https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/smoking-tobacco/vaping.html
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