Vaping: Do You Know the Health Risks? | Toronto Teacher Mom

Vaping: Do You Know the Health Risks?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Vaping: Do You Know the Health Risks?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Health Canada. Any opinions expressed herein are my own.

When I first became a mother, I did everything I could to make sure my daughter was healthy and safe. I did what most parents do: I read parenting books, sought advice from family and friends, childproofed the house, bought the latest baby gear, took her regularly to the pediatrician. The list goes on. When it was time to convert her crib into a double bed, I made sure to secure every bolt and tested the bed myself to ensure it was 100% sturdy. I followed all the guidelines for transitions between rear-facing car seat to front-facing car seat to booster seat. I equipped her with the proper safety gear whenever she rode her bike or went skating. Then, when it was time for her to walk to school, I followed from a distance to make sure she observed the rules of the road while looking out for her little brother. And that's when it hit me. From that moment on, my daughter was well on her way to becoming more independent and I had to trust that I had empowered her with the knowledge to make the right decisions.

Now, my daughter is preparing for high school and she is very much excited about this next stage in her life. And for the most part, so am I. It is only when I think about the realities teens face regarding tobacco, alcohol, drugs and other risky behaviours that I begin to feel ill at ease. Luckily, I feel confident that my daughter and I have established a solid foundation based on honesty and respect, one that allows us to have those sometimes-difficult conversations. The problem is that I don't always have all the answers, especially when it comes to the latest trends, such as vaping. For this reason, I am grateful that I can turn to a trusted source to learn more about the health risks of vaping.

Vaping nicotine can alter teen brain development #vapinginfo

It comes as no surprise that Canadian youth are curious about vaping and that some have already tried it. Every time I walk into a gas station, there they are, vapes on full display while regular cigarettes and other tobacco products remain out of sight. What I was surprised to learn when I read up on the risks of vaping is that vaping can expose you to nicotine which can lead to nicotine addiction. While not all vaping liquids contain nicotine, those that do can contain varying levels of nicotine, some containing more than a typical cigarette. But was upsets me most regarding the health risks of vaping with nicotine is the way that it can alter teen brain development, potentially reducing impulse control and negatively impacting cognitive and behavioural development.

As if it weren't worrisome enough that the appeal of vaping could lead to nicotine addiction amongst youth, it is crucial to note that even if there is no nicotine, vaping can also increase exposure to harmful chemicals and metals, such as nickel, tin, aluminum, formaldehyde and acrolein. While some of the chemicals found in vaping liquid, like vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol, have been deemed safe for use in products like cosmetics and sweeteners, we do not know the long-term consequences of inhaling these substances in vaping products.

What You Should Know

  • For smokers, vaping is less harmful than smoking. Vaping is not intended for youth and non-smokers.
  • Vaping is not harmless, yet Canadian teens are trying vaping products. Data from a recent Health Canada survey showed that 23% of students in grades 7–12 have tried an electronic cigarette.
  • Vaping products have many names such as e-cigarettes or mods and come in different shapes and sizes, some resembling a USB drive. Vaping liquids come in a variety of flavours and some may not leave any lingering smell.

What Can Parents Do

For more information on the consequences of vaping, visit

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