Toronto teenager Ryan started vaping like most kids his age. A couple years ago he was hanging out with his friends, one of them brought a nicotine pod vape and he tried it out.
“That was my first experiment with vaping,” says Ryan, 17. “I thought it was fun doing tricks in the mirror and stuff.”
Two years later, he is an ex-vaper.
“I just decided it was something I didn’t need in my life. I started realizing I was relying on it and it became less cool,” says Ryan.
In a first-of-its-kind CAMH-led study, researchers have found significant differences in how young Canadians perceive the negative impacts of vaping compared to smoking, highlighting what the authors say is a critical need to develop unique vaping prevention and cessation public health strategies for this population.
The rate of vaping among Canadians under 30 has exploded in recent years. According to the most recent CAMH Ontario Student Drug Use and Heath Survey (OSDUHS) released late last year, the rate of vaping among students between grades seven and 12 has more than doubled in just the past three years, from 11 per cent to 23 per cent.
In a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviours, “Is vaping cessation like smoking cessation? A qualitative study exploring the responses of youth and young adults who vape e-cigarettes,” the authors conclude that a better understanding of the key differences in perceived barriers to quitting vaping verses smoking, and the different motivations for wanting to quit, is needed to develop effective health policy strategies. The research is part of a larger project to study and eventually create vaping cessation programs for young Canadians under the age of 30.