Know the facts. Use your instincts.

Make health choices using facts, not beliefs.

Vaping products have exploded onto the Canadian market selling the idea of a safe and harmless replacement to smoking. Although vapes may seem less harmful than cigarettes, they are not without health risks. In fact, these products are so new that no one really knows what the long-term effects will be.1 The aerosol from vaping products contains harmful chemicals that can lead to:

  • lung damage
  • gum disease
  • changes in the brain
  • lifelong addiction2

The only thing that should go into our lungs is air and messages that suggest anything else should be questioned. We take huge issue with the industry promoting vaping versus smoking as if they are our only 2 options. How about the third option… neither!

Even if it seems like everyone around you is vaping, remember, most youth DON’T vape. The media headlines hyping a 75% increase in teen vaping is true; rates have increased from 8.4% to 14.6% from 2017 to 2018, but this still means 85% of Canadian teens report they are not vaping.3 We need to question where and who we get our info from so that we can make our own decisions based on truths and facts not beliefs.

Unfiltered Facts About Vaping

There are some interesting facts about vaping that most people don’t know. Below we have given you some of the uncensored facts, so you have all the info you need to make the informed choice. Tap or click on each one to learn more.

Vaping is Not Even Vapour at All

The term “vape” or “vaping” has helped the industry create the belief that what comes out of electronic cigarettes is just harmless water vapour, when it’s not even vapour at all. The water from the bottle that people spray their plants or pet reptiles with is water vapour; vapes produce an aerosol by heating liquids that contain chemicals4, more like your hairspray which is tacky and strong smelling.

Vape aerosol consists of fine particles, many contain different amounts of toxic chemicals, which have been linked to gum disease, severe lung damage and even death.5

Not All "Nic" is Created Equal

Canada’s leading vape company does not make a no-nic product. One pod contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. The pods contain Nicotine Salts, also known as Nic Salts, a different type of nicotine vs the regular “freebase” nicotine found in cigarettes and e-juices.

Nic salts help the industry because they make vaping easier for users to inhale than the original freebase nicotine and less harsh on the throat. This allows users to inhale higher amounts of nicotine per puff; hooking them faster and longer.

Using nicotine before the age of 25 has a lasting impact on our brain, affecting memory, attention, and the ability to control our actions and impulses.6 Still, the industry targets their products to youth through fun flavours, social media influencers, and even marketing in school classrooms!7

Flavours Were Meant for Food

There are more than 7,000 different flavours of vapes on the market, many of which are kid-friendly such as cotton candy and gummi bear. Although many of the flavourings used have been found to be safe in food products, it is unknown if they are safe to breathe into our lungs.

When we eat something, the stomach has a lot of ways to cleanse and get rid of it from the body, but the lungs don’t have the same defenses. The lungs were not built to inhale anything other than air.

Your Body Believes Your Mind

It should not be a secret that vaping nicotine can harm our physical health.4 But many are not aware of the impact of vaping on mental well-being. A recent study of more than 96,000 people found that vapers were 2x as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other emotional problems.8

The way it works is that if your brain gets something it has become used to, it calms down for a short time, so we start to believe vaping lessens stress and anxiety. This brief relaxed feeling fades fast and gives way to withdrawal and cravings, making us need to use more. We then vape more to reduce these symptoms which are just like that of anxiety, but it doesn’t reduce anxiety or the reasons someone might feel anxious.

Same Industry, New Lies

Lots of flavours! Cool gear! There’s a reason why tobacco giant Altria Group, the owners of Philip Morris USA and makers of Marlboro cigarettes bought a 35% stake in Juul Labs.9 Most recently, an Altria senior exec also took over as Juul CEO.10

Getting into the heated nicotine business not only gives Big Tobacco a new billion-dollar income stream but is also a way for them to become relevant again.11

Vaping and the Environment

Like cigarettes, vaping also impacts our environment. E-waste from vaping like lithium batteries ends up in landfills, pollutes the environment with heavy metals and damages the developing world. Due to the nicotine present, unused pods and/or liquids would be classed as hazardous waste and should be disposed of responsibly. Just like plastic straws disposable versions of vaping devices pose the most risk to the environment.12

Second Hand Vape

Yes, the aerosol that comes out of a vape may not expose non-users to the same level of toxins as cigarettes, but it still exposes them to chemicals that they would not have to breathe if someone wasn’t vaping around them.

Research has tested the amounts of nicotine, carbon monoxide and many volatile organic compounds after vape use and compared it to those from cigarettes. Though emissions from vapes went away more quickly and contained less toxins than cigarettes, it still contained:

  • nicotine
  • ingredients found in paint thinner
  • particles13

These would be most dangerous to children, pregnant women and people with heart disease. We need to consider others like our younger siblings and cousins when making the choice to vape; not only do we risk their health, we are their role models and what we do affects them.

More Info and Help

For more information or help, you can always talk to your doctor, or call:


References

References:

[1] Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario). Current evidence on e-cigarettes: a summary of potential impacts. Toronto Ontario. Queen’s Printer of Ontario. 2018, Nov. Available from https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/literature-review-ecigarettes.pdf?la=en

[2] Mortiz, T. Vaping it’s all smoke and mirrors. United States of America: The America Lung Association; 2018. Retrieved from https://www.lung.org/about-us/blog/2019/03/vaping-smoke-and-mirrors.html

[3] Hammond, D., Reid, J. L., Rynard, V. L., Fong, G. T., Cummings, K. M., McNeill, A., … & O’Connor, R. Prevalence of vaping and smoking among adolescents in Canada, England, and the United States: repeat national cross-sectional surveys. Bmj; 365, l2219. Available from https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/prevalence-of-vaping-and-smoking-among-adolescents-in-canada-england-and-the-united-states(ad6c4526-542c-492f-a074-2df31da92eaa).html

[4] Centre for Disease Control. Quick facts on the risks of e-cigarettes for kids, teens, and young adults. Atlanta, GA. US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2019  Mar 11. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html

[5] National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Public health consequences of e-cigarettes. Washington , DC.; The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; 2018. Available from https://www.nap.edu/read/24952/chapter/1

[6] Goriounova N, Mansvelder H. Short- and long-term consequences of nicotine exposure during adolescence for prefrontal cortex neuronal network function. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012;2(12):a012120.

[7] Kaplan, S. Richtel, M. Juul illegally marketed e-cigarettes, F.D.A says.  New York Times [Internet]. 2019 Sept 9 [cited 2019 Oct 8]. Woodstock and Region. Available from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/health/vaping-juul-e-cigarettes-fda.html

[8] Napoli, N. . E-Cigarettes linked to heart attacks, coronary artery disease, and depression. Washington, D.C: American College of Cardiology; 2019 Mar 7. Available from https://www.acc.org/about-acc/press-releases/2019/03/07/10/03/ecigarettes-linked-to-heart-attacks-coronary-artery-disease-and-depression

[9] Maloney, J. Juul hires another top Altria executive. Wall Street Journal [internet].  2019 Oct 1 [cited 2019 Oct 8); Woodstock and Region. Available from https://www.wsj.com/articles/juul-hires-another-top-altria-executive-11569971306

[10] Maloney, J. (2019, October 1). Juul Hires Another Top Altria Executive. Wallstreet Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/juul-hires-another-top-altria-executive-11569971306

[11] Zaleski, O., & Kary, T. Altria invests $12.8 Billion in e-cigarette maker Juul. Bloomberg [Internet]. 2018 Dec 20 [cited 2019 Oct 9]; Woodstock and Region. Available from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-20/altria-invests-12-8-billion-in-e-cigarette-maker-juul-labs

[12] Krause, M., Townsend, T. Hazardous waste status of discarded electronic cigarettes. Waste Manag, 2015; 39, pp. 57-62. Available from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.02.005

[13] Czogala,J., Goniewicz, M., Fidelus, B.,  Zielinska-Danch, W.,Travers, M., Sobczak, A. Secondhand exposure to vapors from electronic cigarettes. Nicotine Tob. Res. 2014; Volume 16, Issue 6, Pages 655–662. Available from https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntt203

Quiz

Read the statements below and "use your instincts" to guess whether they are true or false.

Resources

Downloads

Posters

Know the Facts. Use Your Instincts.
Download 12″ x 18″ Posters (PDF)
4 posters in one file.

Social Media Posts

Know the Facts. Use Your Instincts.
Download Social Media Images (zip)
7 pictures (mini-posters) in one zip file.
Download Social Media Post Captions (docx)
Text you can use with the videos and pictures.

Web Links

Consider the Consequences of Vaping
Government of Canada

Not an Experiment
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Video Links

The DeNoble Files: e-Cigarettes
Arizona Department of Health Services

The Mechanics of Vaping
Healthy Canadians

Vaping TSA – Canadian Cancer Society Vaping PSA
Canadian Cancer Society | #ThinkBeforeYouVape

Egg – Canadian Cancer Society Vaping PSA
Canadian Cancer Society | #ThinkBeforeYouVape

Ooze – Canadian Cancer Society Vaping PSA
Canadian Cancer Society | #ThinkBeforeYouVape

Helplines

Helpline Phone
1-800-668-6868
24 hours a day, seven days a week
(Canada only)

The Drug & Alcohol Helpline
(Connex Ontario)
1-866-531-2600