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Information for Parents

• More and more young people are trying vaping, about 1 in 5 according to the most recent data.

• Contrary to what the industry would have you believe, a vaporizer releases many chemicals that pose health risks.

• As a parent, you can positively influence your teenager so that they make healthier choices.

Why do young people vape?

Adolescence is characterized by many changes such as a growing interest in new experiences. Because teenagers’ brains are not fully developed at this age, they are still learning judgment and the ability to make decisions based on risks and benefits.

There are many reasons to try vaping as part of this new experimentation:

• Curiosity or because it tastes or smells good

• To do what their friends are doing or to join a group

• To develop their style

• To manage their stress or face problems

For most youth, these experiments last a short time and do not take up a lot of space in their lives.

What are the chemicals released by vaping?

Toxic and carcinogenic
(can cause cancer)
heavy metals
Lead-based paint
Carbonyls (formaldehyde) Embalming
Volatile organic
compounds (VOCs)
Polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Vehicle exhaust gases
Fine particulates Forest fire smoke

Liquid (e-liquid, juice, sauce)

• Propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerine (VG)

• Flavours (over 8,000 flavours)

These ingredients may be safe to consume in food, but when they are inhaled, their health effects are unknown.

• Nicotine (amount varies from 0 to 20 mg)

1 cartridge can contain the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes

When someone vapes, the people around them can inhale all the chemical products in the vapour.

What are the benefits of encouraging your teen to stop or not start vaping?

For a clever brain!

Nicotine is designed to make the brain want more and more.

Nicotine addiction can occur very quickly in young people, even with just the first few experiments.

Even if some people experience brief relief by using nicotine, it does not eliminate the real causes of anxiety.

Because the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, exposure to nicotine before that age can have adverse effects on learning, memory development and impulse control. It can also cause attention and mood disorders that can remain into adulthood.

For a nicer smile!

Sharing vaping materials increases the risk of infection (cold sores, fungal infections, respiratory diseases, etc.

The effects of nicotine include yellowed teeth, cavities, and bad breath.

To have healthy lungs !

Vaping can cause respiratory problems such as coughing, shortness of breath and asthma.

For better heart health!

Nicotine increases blood pressure and heart rate, causing an increased risk of heart disease.

To save money!

Vaping one electronic cigarette per day costs an average of:

• $37 per week

• $ 158 per month

• $ 1917 per year

How to tackle the subject of vaping with your teenager?

Even if it sometimes doesn’t feel like it, you remain one of the people with the most influence in the life of your teenager.

This can allow you to guide your teenager and help them to make healthy choices. Be there for them and take an interest in them, and what they are interested in and passionate about.

Find the right time

You can plan a time to discuss it, but spontaneity is good, too. For example, take advantage of seeing someone vaping to raise the subject. Take advantage of every opportunity to raise the issue.

Keep an open mind and remain positive

• Don’t sermonize. Instead, show that you are listening, curious, respectful and understanding. Encourage dialogue by considering their point of view.

Depending on the circumstances, discuss strategies to deal with peer pressure. This can consist of teaching them to say no, using as examples such facts as, “Did you know that by vaping you are six times more likely to start smoking cigarettes and becoming addicted to them?”

Your teenager vapes

• Talk with them about the reasons they tried vaping. Suggest that they think about the positive and negative effects of vaping on their wellbeing.

Together, define the rules about vaping (for example, smoke-free environment at home and in the car, no parental contribution to the purchase of the products).

• And, above all, talk about other things with your teenager, for example, things that are going well in their life, their interests.

You vape or smoke

• Talk about your experience, without glorifying or trivializing it (age when you started, why you started, the harmful effects you feel, your attempts to stop).

• Take the time to think about your own use. If it is a way to relieve stress, you could try to find ways to model healthier behaviours for your child. For example, you can participate in sports, talk with a friend, play music or read a book.

Do you or your young person want to reduce or quit vaping or smoking? For information and free support in a process that respects your pace, call 1 844 440-AIDE (2433) for an appointment with the nurse at your smoking cessation centre.

Produced by the CISSS des Laurentides public health department

References :

• The Lung Association – British Columbia, (2022) Vaping Resources – The Lung Association of Canada (Lung.ca)

• Conseil québécois sur le tabac et la santé (2022) Let’s Talk About It! Québec tobacco and health council

• Enquête québécoise sur le tabac, l’alcool, la drogue et le jeu chez les élèves du secondaire (2019) (Quebec survey on tobacco, alcohol, drugs and gambling among high school students, in French only); Vapotage et consommation des produits du tabac chez les élèves du secondaire au Québec (quebec.ca) (Vaping and use of tobacco products among Québec high school students, in French only)

• LUNG HEALTH FOUNDATION (2022) Home (quashapp.com)

• Health Canada (2019) Talking with your teen about vaping – Canada.ca

• Images : Freepik

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