April 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Updated: April 16, 2019 6:03 pm

Vaping becoming increasingly popular among Peterborough teens

Youth vaping is on the rise across Canada. Peterborough Public Health says it is concerned about local teen use.


Youth vaping across Canada, including in Peterborough, is on the rise.

Peterborough Public Health last conducted a student tobacco, alcohol and drug survey between 2015 and 2016. The results showed 24 per cent of participants admitted to trying e-cigarettes.

“We’re in the process of collecting another round of data so that we can tailor interventions and work with school boards so we can get those numbers down,” said Keith Beecroft, health promoter at Peterborough Public Health.

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“I expect, sadly, from what we’re seeing from the field and educators that the number will likely be higher in 2019.”

READ MORE: B.C. Liberals pushing for ban of flavoured vape products

Health Canada is seeking advice on new ways to reduce teen vaping. Last week, the government agency proposed a number of potential measures that are open for public consultation to try to stop youth from vaping. They include restricting online sales and stopping the manufacturing of certain flavours.

Peterborough Public Health attributes the spike in youth vaping to sleek vape designs and ‘fun’ flavours such as cotton candy, fruit explosion, and berry.

Despite being viewed as the less harmful option to smoking, experts say there are still a number of health risks associated with vaping.

READ MORE: New Health Canada campaign warns youth about risks of vaping

“One of the things that we know that is especially alarming for young people is that the nicotine that is being delivered by these e-cigarettes can have a huge impact on their brain development,” says Beecroft. “Behaviour. Concentration memory. Those types of things.”

The most recent national figures from 2016 to 2017 show that nearly a quarter of Canadian students between Grades 7 and 12 has tried e-cigarettes.

WATCH: Health groups call for stricter advertising rules around vaping

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