Whether on the street or in school, more and more children are smoking and hooked on nicotine in electronic cigarettes. Owning a new generation of youth addicts is a crisis.
Now we have proof of a drastic surge in teenagers using e-cigarettes, according to data released last week by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
About one-quarter (23%) of students reported using an e-cigarette in the previous year, which is more than double the 2017 findings of 11%.
More troubling is that one in three grade 12 students reported using an e-cigarette in the past year. Even the frequency of e-cigarette use has shown a substantial increase, with 13%reporting weekly or daily vaping in 2019, compared with 3% in 2017.
There has also been an increase in new e-cigarette users, with about one-fifth of students (21%) in 2019 reporting trying e-cigarettes for the first time, as compared with 14% in 2017.
The numbers are from CAMH’s Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS), an Ontario-wide survey of 14,142 students — Canada’s longest-running systematic study of drug use among youth, and one of the longest-running in the world.
“The sharp increase in the use of e-cigarettes in this demographic reflects what we’re seeing in clinical practice,” said Dr. Peter Selby, Chief of Medicine in the Psychiatry Division at CAMH. “This surge in vaping in some young people who would never have smoked is troubling.”
“Currently, the products on the market are also not regulated in any meaningful way to prevent harm from exposure.”
“We need to better enforce and further restrict the marketing of e-cigarettes towards young people if we want only adults to use this product to reduce their harm from combustible tobacco.”Dr. Peter Selby said in a release sent to media last Thursday.
The state of Massachusetts has implemented a total ban on all e-cigarettes. Other Canadian cities and provinces are considering bans and new rules.
This hodgepodge of rules and limits across Canada will lead to massive confusion, a lack of enforcement, and, most importantly, a lack of protection for millions of kids.
More so, there is a total lack of urgency at the provincial level to do anything about the issue. Bringing in a national ban is the smart and prudent thing to do.
This is precisely the type of issue the opposition parties could champion in a minority government situation in Ottawa. The Prime Minister and Health Canada have so far ignored this issue.
The best news from the report? The rates of drinking, cigarette smoking, and overall drug use continued a long-term downward trend among Ontario students in grades 7 through 12.
This is the most frustrating part of the e-cigarettes surge among our youth.
More about E-Cigarette Ban in Canada:
- Canada: Nova Scotia Is The first Province to Ban All Flavoured Vape
- Canada: E-Cigarette Ban Now in Place in Lincoln
- Juul Labs Canada Will Temporarily Stop Producing Fruit-Flavored Vaping Pods
Source: TORONTO SUN