What is Vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by a vapour product. A vapour product heats a liquid solution into a vapour. This vapour then condenses into an aerosol, which is breathed in by the user. The liquid is often flavoured and can contain nicotine. Vaping doesn't require burning like cigarette smoking.
Vapour products are usually battery-powered and may come with removable parts. The vapour products are small and easy to disguise. They may be similar to a pen or a USB stick. There are various shapes, sizes, brands and names of vapour products.
Are there harms associated with vaping?
Yes. Vaping can increase exposure to harmful chemicals, and the long-term consequences of vaping are unknown. Vaping increases the risk of nicotine dependence and addiction. Nicotine can alter teenage brain development and affect memory and concentration. The level of nicotine in vapour products varies.
Can vapour products help youth to quit smoking cigarettes?
The evidence of the efficacy of using vapour products as a smoking cessation device is limited. People interested in quitting smoking should discuss their quit goals with their health care professionals. In addition, people in pursuit of nicotine replacement therapy should use products that have been approved to be used as smoking cessation tools. These products include patches, lozenges and gums.
What is the legal status of vapour products in Saskatchewan?
As of February 1, 2020, The Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act will come into force and vapour products will be regulated in the same manner as tobacco products. This includes:
- Vapour products are not to be sold or provided to youth under 18 years of age; and
- Use of vapour products is not permitted on school property or in vehicles with persons under 16 years of age, or in places where smoking is prohibited.
- In general, use of vapour products within enclosed public places is prohibited.
- The Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Regulations set a three-metre area around any doorway, window or air intake of an enclosed public place in which no one can use vapour products.
- Saskatchewan Health Authority Tobacco Enforcement Officers will respond to complaints regarding vaping.
Are youth vaping?
Yes. The common reasons for youth vaping include curiosity, low perceived harm and flavoured vapour products.
As reported in the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs survey 2018-19 of youth in grades 7 to 12 across Canada, vaping prevalence rates doubled among students in 2018-19 since the last survey in 2016-17. Twenty per cent of students (approximately 418,000) had vaped in the past 30 days. The majority of students (65%) in grades 7 to 12 who vaped in the past 30 days got their vapour product from a social source (friends, family and others).
What can I do as a parent?
Model positive behaviours. Have frank and continuing conversation with your child regarding vaping. Create opportunities to have discussions. The discussions can be informal such as at the dinner table. Ask open-ended questions and find out their opinions. Ask your children what assistance they need and how you can help them. When talking with your child, be patient and listen. Try to avoid using language with judgment or criticism. Understand this may come up more than once.
Children are more likely to engage in constructive behaviours if they have a strong bond with a caring adult. Parents should ensure safe and compassionate atmosphere at home.
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