Vaping

Vaping in Ottawa:  What you need to know

What is vaping?

  • Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling a vapour produced by a battery-operated device, such as an e-cigarette, that uses e-liquid (also called e-juice). 
  • E-liquids are available in various flavours. They can also contain different levels of nicotine.   
  • Vaping devices have many names such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), vape pens, mods, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). 
  • Some vaping products contain nicotine and some e-liquid pods contain the equivalent to the amount of nicotine in a pack of cigarettes.

Are there risks from using vapour products?

  • The vapour can contain many chemicals with known toxicity.  Vaping e-liquid nicotine could result in nicotine addiction. Nicotine can alter brain development and can affect memory and concentration. Drinking e-liquid nicotine can result in nicotine poisoning especially with children.
  • Candy flavoured e-liquids can entice youth to try e-cigarettes. 
  • There is evidence that e-cigarette use can increase the risk of smoking cigarettes among youth and young adults.  
  • The long-term effects of inhaling the substances in vaping products is unknown.  More research is needed on the health risks from second-hand vapour.

What is the legal status of vaping products in Ottawa?

  • Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA) prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public places and workplace and in other areas where tobacco smoking is already banned. The fine for vaping in a prohibited area is $305.00.  
  • The City of Ottawa Parks and Facilities By-law prohibits smoking tobacco and the use of vapour products on all municipal properties including parks; playgrounds; sports fields; beaches; and indoor and outdoor areas of municipal buildings.
  • It is also against the law to give or sell vapour products to youth under the age of 19 in Ontario. The fine for supplying a vapour product is $490.00.

Are vapour products popular among youth?

  • In the past year, e-cigarette use among Ottawa’s youth has surpassed tobacco use. In 2017, ten per cent of Ottawa students used an e-cigarette compared to 6% that smoked tobacco in the past 12 months.
  • The three most common reasons that youth report trying vapour products include curiosity, flavoring/taste and low perceived harm.

Can vaping products help youth to quit smoking cigarettes?

  • The evidence about e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid is limited. OPH recommends that those interested in quitting should discuss their quit goals with their health care professionals. In addition, people in search of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) should use products that have been proven safe and effective. These products include the nicotine inhaler, patch, lozenge and gum.
  • Visit Breakitoff.ca to get tips and tools to help young people quit smoking and stay smoke-free.

How can I talk to my teen about vaping?

  • The teen years are a time when your child may try using a vapour product. Help them reflect on why they are using and turn it in to a learning opportunity. For instance:
    • Be prepared. Make sure you have the facts about vaping including the risks of nicotine addiction.
    • Start the conversation. Take advantage of opportunities such as a recent news story, an ad for vaping products on TV or in a store. Talk to them about it and then listen to what they say.
    • Reach out for help. Visit ParentingInOttawa.ca/vaping or connect with a Public Health Nurse or parents on Facebook at Facebook.com/ParentingInOttawa. To speak with a Public Health Nurse call 613-PARENTS (613-727-3687) Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or email ParentingInOttawa@ottawa.ca.

Download - Talking With your Teen about Vaping: A tip sheet for parents

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