Vaping and electronic cigarettes
Health Canada provides up-to-date information about vaping and its health risks, product safety and regulation, and vaping to help quit smoking.
Vaping is not without risk and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Non-smokers, people who are pregnant, and young people should not vape. If you are a smoker, vaping may be a less harmful option than smoking (Health Canada).
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, e-cigs) are devices that can be made to look, feel, and sometimes taste like regular cigarettes. They typically have three parts: a battery, a vaporizer, and a cartridge that contains a liquid mixture of chemical ingredients that could include nicotine. The liquid mixture is heated and creates a vapour that is inhaled, commonly known as vaping.
What is vaping?
Vaping refers to inhaling or exhaling vapour from an e-cigarette or holding an activated e-cigarette, whether or not the vapour contains nicotine (Ministry of Health).
Vaping: how it works
- Vaping liquid, which contains chemicals, is heated to become an aerosol.
- The aerosol is inhaled through the mouth and lungs where it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
- The remaining aerosol is exhaled.
Vaping and you
Less harmful does not mean safe. There is increasing concern about the health hazards of using e-cigarettes including nicotine addiction, transition to tobacco products especially among youth, and emerging risks of severe pulmonary illness. Stay informed.
E-liquid often contains nicotine. Nicotine is very addictive. It is known to alter youth brain development and can affect memory and concentration. Even if the e-liquid does not contain nicotine, other toxic chemicals and heavy metals are still inhaled.
What you can do if someone asks you to vape
- Use humor or change the subject.
- Say you have a health issue like asthma, or say you want to stay healthy.
- Tell them real friends don’t make you do things you don’t want to.
- Suggest a different activity that doesn’t involve vaping or other substances, such as a sport, game, or something else you enjoy doing.
- Leave the situation.
Knowing the facts about vaping can help you make informed decisions. If you are a young person looking for more information about vaping, download our resource (PDF, 1.9 MB) for youth.
Parents and caregivers
There is a good chance that your teen has been or will be exposed to vaping or e-cigarette products. As a parent or caregiver, you play a key role in helping your teen make good decisions. It is important to be informed of the facts so that the two of you can have open and honest conversations about vaping.
If you do smoke or vape, reflect on your own usage. Use it as an opportunity to discuss with your child possible challenges with addiction and quitting.
Download our parent resource (PDF, 1.4 MB) for tips on how to have these conversations.
There is a good chance that your students have been or will be exposed to vaping and e-cigarette products. It is important to have open, honest, and ongoing conversations with students about vaping.
- Make opportunities to talk.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Be patient, positive, and listen to what they have to say.
- Be caring.
You can find additional tools and resources on our curriculum resources page.
The health effects of vaping are still unknown. There is not enough evidence for us to recommend usage of e-cigarettes to help you quit smoking. Our Quit Smoking Clinic provides nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which is a safe and effective quit smoking method.
Inspections and enforcing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017
This item was last modified on January 10, 2020