Vaping and E-cigarettes


Electronic cigarettes – also called e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vapes, mods and pens – are tobacco industry products. They are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid (known as e-juice, e-liquid or vape juice) to turn it into aerosol. Users inhale the aerosol.

How an e-cigarette works

Image from Health Canada

E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. Some have refillable cartridges and others have pre-loaded pods.

Vaping products 

Flavours hook youth.

E-juices come in many different flavours. Flavours lower the perception of harm and are appealing to children and teens. Flavours also mask the harshness of nicotine to make it easier to consume.

Did you know…?

When compared to teens who do not use e-cigarettes, teens who use e-cigarettes are 4x more likely to start smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Nicotine affects the developing brain.

Many vape products contain nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. Teens are at higher risk of addiction than adults. Nicotine rewires teens’ developing brains and can increase anxiety, mood swings and learning difficulties. Some teens are not aware that the e-cigarettes they use contain nicotine.

Other long-term health effects of vaping are unknown.

Vegetable glycerine (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are the main liquids in e-juice. While considered safe to eat, these ingredients have not been tested to see if they are safe to breathe in.

When e-juice is heated, it can create new chemicals like formaldehydes. Other contaminants like nickel, tin, or aluminum can also get into the aerosol and be inhaled. Some of these chemicals and contaminants are linked to negative health effects.

However, since there is no burning during vaping, the amount of chemicals and contaminants is normally at much lower levels than in cigarette smoke.

Vaping on school property is prohibited.

Anyone who vapes on school property can be fined. Learn more about vaping regulations in Ontario.

What can you do to help your teen?

Being available is the most important thing you can do help your teen make positive decisions around vaping and other substance use. Find strategies in these tip sheets to start the conversation:

Quitting smoking?

Although vaping is less harmful than smoking, it may still have potential health risks. Find resources to help you quit smoking.

Teaching resources

Find classroom resources about e-cigarettes and vaping.

Youth Speaking Up!

Local youth-made PSA about vaping:

Youth talk about the importance of regulating flavoured e-cigarettes:








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