Almost a third of young Quebecers vape

As part of an initiative denouncing the dangers of vaping among young people, the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health (CQTS) reveals that 5% of parents think their children do so. The reality is however up to 6 times greater. In fact, the percentage of young people who have vaped in the last 30 days has doubled in 2 years, going from 16.3% to 31.7%.

“As a pediatrician dedicated to drug addiction in Quebec, I sat on several advisory committees and we have never seen an addictive product gain popularity so quickly among adolescents,” says the pediatrician and clinician-researcher specializing in Adolescent medicine and drug addiction, CHU Sainte-Justine, and campaign spokesperson Nicholas Chadi. This is particularly worrying. Unfortunately, nicotine addiction can set in much faster in teenagers than in adults. So after a few weeks, or even a few days of vaping, they can already be addicted. ”

There has been a dramatic increase in the consumption of vaping products among young people in recent years.

“Adolescents in search of a buzz use vaping like a drug. The phenomenon is called the dosing. Some people inhale to the point of fainting or vomiting because of the high doses of nicotine ”, we point out, recalling that the nicotine contained in electronic cigarettes can harm adolescent brain development, memory and concentration, decrease impulse control and be associated with long-term cognitive and behavioral problems.

“We do not yet know all the effects of electronic cigarettes on health, adds Nicholas Chadi. However, studies indicate that it may increase the risk of lung and cardiovascular disease. One thing is certain, vaping creates an addiction that often sets in over the long term and can have unexpected repercussions. ”

This is because electronic cigarette cartridges can contain high doses of nicotine, the same as those contained in a pack of cigarettes, for example. The new generations of vapers contain nicotine salts which have the particularity of not irritating the throat, thus limiting the level of discomfort and allowing the inhalation of large doses.

“In light of these data, there is a real need to unbalance vaping among young people, to understand the risks associated with it and to realize that the products are very attractive to them,” says the general manager. from the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health Annie Papageorgiou. We don’t want to see a new generation of smokers emerge. We need to better regulate vaping products, by eliminating flavors and controlling the nicotine level, for example, without forgetting to educate young people on the risks associated with vaping. ”

Text by Stéphane Lévesque, Local Journalism Initiative, L’Hebdo Journal

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