A new study has found worrisome increases in the rates of vaping as well as smoking prevalence among teens in a one-year period between 2017 and 2018, according to a release by the Canadian Cancer Society.
The study, published by the British Medical Journal, reveals that vaping among youth aged 16-19 years old (in past 30-day use) increased from 8.4% in August/September 2017 to 14.6% in the same period in 2018. That’s an increase of a whopping 74%.
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These findings, as well as others in the study, are the first insight into the correlation between youth and vaping since nicotine e-cigarettes were legalized in Canada in May 2018. And considering that, they can be quite concerning.
“E-cigarettes are supposed to be for adult smokers who have been unable to quit,” said Rob Cunningham, senior political analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“But the results of this new study regarding youth trends are of tremendous concern. Given the progress that has been made to reduce youth smoking, we must avoid a new generation of teenagers becoming addicted to nicotine through vaping products.”
Despite that progress to reduce youth smoking, the British Medical Journal’s study actually suggests a correlation between the attractiveness of vaping and that of smoking cigarettes for youth. Just as nicotine vaping has, cigarette smoking among 16-19 year olds has actually increased by 45% in the one-year period from 2017-2018. According to the release, these findings are a turning point from studies prior to 2017, which were finding youth smoking rates to be on a decline.
As a result, the Canadian Cancer Society is pushing provinces and the federal government to implement stricter regulations to get vaping out of the hands of youth. According to the release, the organization is urging provinces to increase the minimum age of sale for tobacco and vaping products to 21 years old.
Flavoured vaping products should also be banned from youth by provides and the federal government, as should advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores in Ontario (a step that seven other provinces have already made).
You can take a look at the British Medical Journal’s full study here.