Tobacco and Vaping Youth Prevention 

Youth and young adults

Nicotine addiction is real. Both tobacco products and nicotine-containing vaping devices can result in nicotine addiction. Did you know that many vape companies are owned by tobacco companies? Most people know the health risks related to smoking. The number of people smoking is declining so the tobacco industry is looking for its next generation of customers. It’s great that more people are not smoking, however vaping also has many health risks, some not yet known.  Vaping and tobacco companies target youth just like you. They do this by making tobacco and vaping look cool and harmless. Even smoking and vaping in movies and shows is done on purpose to target you. Did you know that you can fight back? Don’t be fooled. You can resist and stay vape and smoke-free.

What are e-cigarettes? 

E-cigarettes – also called electronic cigarettes, e-cigs, vapes, mods, tanks, or vape pens – are battery-powered devices that heat an e-liquid or e-juice. E-liquids are chemical solutions that come in different flavours with varying levels of nicotine. 

The heated e-liquid turns into an aerosol. Vaping is the act of inhaling the aerosol.

E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. Some have cartridges that can be refilled with e-liquid, and others have disposable e-liquid pods. E-cigarette devices can also be used to deliver cannabis and other substances.

Health Effects

Vaping is not harmless, and research is beginning to show the impacts it can have on health – especially for youth:

  • Vaping even for a short time can cause problems such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, mouth or throat irritation, headache, dizziness, light headedness, and nausea.
  • Vaping with nicotine is addictive. For some brands of e-liquid, just one pod can contain the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes.
  • Vaping with nicotine during adolescence can impact the brain, which continues to develop until approximately age 25. It can negatively impact learning, memory, concentration, and attention. It may worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce impulse control, and cause behavioural problems.
  • Vaping can expose a person to harmful chemicals. The heating process involved in vaping causes the formation of new chemicals like formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein, which can cause lung disease and heart disease. Metal contaminants like nickel, tin, and aluminum from the vaping products can also get into the vapour. Vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol are the main liquids in vaping products and, while they are considered safe to eat, these ingredients have not been tested to see if they are safe to breathe in.
  • Sharing e-cigarettes can spread viruses and infections.
  • There is strong evidence that youth vaping is linked with starting to smoke tobacco cigarettes. This could be due to common underlying factors for both vaping and smoking, or due to early exposure to nicotine and certain social settings where other people smoke. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada.
  • Some long-term health effects of vaping may still be unknown.

For people who smoke tobacco cigarettes, completely switching to vaping may reduce the number of toxins and cancer-causing chemicals you are exposed to. However, dual use (i.e., vaping and continuing to smoke) does not result in any health benefits.  

Vaping Laws

Vaping in certain places is against the law. One of these places is on or within 20 metres of school property. Vaping on or near school property can result in a minimum $305 fine.

Providing vape products to youth under the age of 19 can also result in a fine of $490. This includes youth who share vape products with underage friends.

Parent Resources

Being available is the most important thing you can do help your child make positive decisions around vaping and other substance use. You can help make sure your child understands the laws and facts about vaping. Find tips on starting the conversation:

Quitting Vaping or Smoking Resources for Youth and Young AdultsFeel better. Save money. Take back control. Visit

Quash is a judgement-free app to help youth quit smoking or vaping in a customized way! Help us spread the word about Quash! 

Promo Video


Ethan's Story


Smoking and Vaping Fines (2020) 

Plan Your Quit is now available at! 

Lung Health (YouTube)

Lung Health “Talking About Series” 

Vaping: What’s the Hype?

Nicotine Pouches

Health Canada has approved the sale of flavoured nicotine pouches by Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. in such a way that the products can be legally sold to children of any age.  Moreover, Imperial Tobacco can promote these products on TV or on billboards across from schools, on social media, through lifestyle advertising, through free samples, and by other means.

“This is the first time in more than 100 years that it is legal for a nicotine product from a tobacco company to be sold to minors in Canada,” says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “Tobacco companies cannot be trusted.  It is essential that the federal Health Ministers take action on an urgent basis.”   

“These nicotine pouches are clearly appealing to youth,” adds Cunningham.  “With attractive flavours such as Tropic Breeze, Chill Mint and Berry Frost, and with colourful, small packages that might well hold candy, of course youth will want to buy them.  The devastating result is that youth will become trapped into nicotine addiction.”

For more information: