On Tuesday, September 25, the Angus Reid Institute published a national survey that reveals the Canadian population’s fears about vaping amongst minors.
Out of 1,500 adults surveyed online, almost 90% believe in prohibiting young people from vaping. Indeed, the use of the e-cigarette is a major public health question in Canada, and the debates are only getting more heated. The e-cigarette’s success can be attributed to a massive advertising campaign and a rise in the distribution network. Because of this, the effects of addiction amongst young people are real, and health professionals are insisting on stricter regulations.
First, according to 75% of respondents, the government needs to implement regulations for e-cigarette packaging and labelling. Second, 69% believe that promotion and marketing for vaping products should be reduced. Finally, 62% of respondents believe that e-liquids with pleasant flavours should be taken off of the market. But while 58% of people 55 and older agree on this final point, only a third of 18-34 year olds believe e-cigarette flavours are a concern.
The steady rise in vaping in Canada
It is clear that there are fewer and fewer smokers in Canada. However, the recent survey shows that vaping rates continue to rise. Although only 8.5% of Canadians had tried vaping in 2013, the number rose to 13.2% in 2015, according to Health Canada. The survey conducted last month by the Vancouver-based polling agency shows that 18% of respondents have already tried electronic cigarettes, and 14% say that they vape on a regular and even daily basis.
For most people, the electronic cigarette is used as to help quit smoking, since most tobacco smokers view vaping as a much safer nicotine substitute. Nonetheless, many teenagers who have never smoked cigarettes are susceptible to vaping, and the fear is that they will then turn towards tobacco.
The most worrying aspect of underage vaping in Canada is whether or not minors who have already tried vaping did it to try a new experience or whether or not they use e-cigarettes regularly, as highlighted by a political expert in the fight against tobacco addiction, David Hammond. The e-cigarette tobacco alternative must truly smokers quit smoking, and if this is the case, Mr. Hammond says that we can only welcome vaping as a benefit to public health.