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 that uses e-liquid (also called e-juice).aping is the act of inhaling and exhaling a vapour produced by a vaping product, such as an electronic cigarette. 
  • E-liquids are available in hundreds of fruit and candy 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).
  • Vaping products are packaged and branded to make them more appealing to youth. For example, some e-liquid products resemble soda cans and candy.
  • JUUL is a new product that looks like a USB flash drive. One nicotine e-liquid pod is equivalent to the same amount of nicotine as 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.
  • Malfunctions with vaping devices have resulted in injuries such as burns.
  • 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.

Are vapour products popular among youth?

  • In the past year, e-cigarette use among Ottawa’s youth has surpassed tobacco use. Ten per cent of Ottawa students have 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.

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 SFOA to give or sell vapour products to youth under the age of 19 in Ontario. The fine for supplying a vapour product is $365.00.

Can vaping products help youth to quit smoking cigarettes?

  • The evidence about e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid is limited. OPH recommends that 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.


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