Vaping in Ottawa:  What you need to know

What is vaping?

  • Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling a vapour produced by a vaping product.
  • Vaping products have many names such as mods, vapes, e-cigs, vape pens and electronic cigarettes. 
  • Most vaping products consist of a battery, mouthpiece, heating element and a chamber that contains a liquid solution called e-juice or e-liquid. 
  • E-liquids can have high levels of nicotine. They also come in thousands of different flavours mixed in glycerol and propylene glycol.

Are there risks from using vapour products?

  • The majority of vaping products contain nicotine.
  • A teen who vapes nicotine products can become addicted and at increased risk of smoking cigarettes. Nicotine can alter brain development, affect memory and concentration.
  • The vapour contains harmful chemicals and toxins. 
  • Swallowing e-liquid with nicotine can be life threatening.
  • The long-term safety of inhaling chemicals found in vaping e-liquid is unknown and continues to be assessed by researchers and scientists.
  • If your teen is vaping, watch for signs of pulmonary illness, like cough, shortness of breath and chest pain. Seek medical attention right away if you have concerns about their health. It is important for people who vape, or have vaped in the past, to indicate this to their health care professional.

What is the legal status of vaping products in Ottawa?

  • Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA) prohibits vaping in enclosed public places and workplace and in other areas where tobacco smoking is already banned, including on school property. The fine for vaping in a prohibited area is $305. 
  • The sale or supply of vapour products to youth under the age of 19 is prohibited in Ontario. The fine for supplying a vapour product is $490.
  • The City of Ottawa’s Smoking and Vaping By-law prohibits smoking tobacco & cannabis and the use of vapour products on all municipal properties including parks; playgrounds; sports fields; beaches; and indoor and outdoor areas of municipal buildings.

Are vapour products popular among youth?

  • 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.
  • There are over 7,500 e-liquid flavor options. Candy flavoured e-liquids can entice youth to try e-cigarettes.
  • Many e-cig brands are owned by the tobacco industry. The marketing tactics used to promote vapour products include the use of celebrities, lifestyle marketing, sex appeal and product promotion in stores and on the internet. 

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 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 into 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 helpVisit 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

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

 For more information, visit:

 Download fact sheet

Contact Us