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Over 60% of Canadian teens attempted to quit vaping in the past year

(Files by Brendan Pawliw-MyPGNow)

Shortness of breath, chest tightness and not being able to play sports are some of the reasons kids across Canada are trying to kick e-cigarettes to the curb.

According to a recent study from UBC Okanagan, 60% of teens aged 15-19 have tried to quit vaping in the past year.

Assistant Professor, Dr. Laura Struik explained to Vista Radio how teens are trying to quit.

“One of the key findings that we found is that e-cigarette users’ primary method to quitting is to reduce their nicotine levels within their vaping devices.”

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However, using this method is concerning for two reasons.

“It’s good to know that gradual reduction is an important way to tailor our cessation interventions but it is concerning for a couple of reasons. One, it indicates users are taking matters into their own hands, and then the second concern is of ongoing use.”

She adds teenage vapers are discovering these health impacts much sooner than a regular smoker.

“These young vapers, who have been vaping for the last six months to a year are already noticing immediate adverse health impacts and their reasons are for the short and medium-term.”

“There is something different going on with the lungs but we need more research as to what exactly is happening,” added Struik.

Last year, Struik along with her fellow researchers also raised the alarm bells about the increase of vaping among teenagers and how e-cigarette marketing strategies target youth.

The study examined a variety of reasons teens take up vaping—ranging anywhere from managing stress, curiosity, taste, peer pressure, easy access, and even factors like it’s easy to hide from parents and is perceived to be less harmful than cigarettes.

Several polls found that 95 per cent of teens said they were curious about vaping so they wanted to try it, while 81 per cent tried an e-cigarette because a friend vaped, and 80 per cent reported continued e-cigarette use because they enjoyed the good flavours.

In addition, more than 70 percent of the teens agreed e-cigarettes were “cool and fun.”

In January of 2020, Northern Health noted 21% of people in our region use tobacco, while 24% of students are vaping or using other products with nicotine.

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