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What are an estimated 750,000 Canadian youth doing DAILY?

Play Video about A young woman of colour thinks pensively. Her finger rests on her chin and her gaze is up and to the right. There is a big white question mark next to her.

Contextualizing youth vaping

Vaping may have roots in weaning adults off tobacco, but we can’t ignore the hold that vaping has on Canadian youth. In fact, the Lung Health Foundation has been  sounding the alarm about it for years!  

But that’s us, a lung health charity that’s spent decades helping people of all ages quit smoking and vaping. What do everyday Canadians know about Canada’s sky-high youth vaping rate

What's the Word on the Street?

To get the answer, we joined forces with researchers-turned-advocates Bianca Mammarella and Mika’il Visanji, both students at McMaster University. Using data from the 2021 Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey and 2022 population data from Statistics Canada, we came up with a jaw-dropping estimate of how many Canadian youth are report vaping every day:

The estimated number of Canadian youth (age 14 to 30) who vaped daily in 2021

Next, we hit the street to interview Canadians. We broke the ice with the simple question you see in the video above: What are an estimated 670,000 Canadian youth doing daily? 

Sure, our youth advocates did stump a few passersby — but not necessarily their peers. As it turns out, high school students and young adults are very aware of how widespread vaping is, even if they’re not aware of the many benefits waiting for them when they quit. 

A new stat, a growing problem?

Then something happened as we got ready to launch our campaign. The youth vaping rate somehow climbed even higher, and with it came an even greater urgency to getting the word out about the solution.:

The estimated number of Canadian youth (age 14 to 30) who vaped daily in 2022. That’s enough youth to fill the Olympic Stadium 11+ times and an 80,000 person increase since 2021.

Quash-ing the youth vaping rate

As much fun as it was to shock people with the answer, the real heart of our street team mission was raising awareness about solutions that can pull youth out of the nicotine dependence cycle.

Quash is an evidence-based mobile app that uses modern behaviour change science to help youth quit at their own pace, free of the judgement that can often lead to setbacks. Our free app guides users though a quit process that focuses on healthy habits, not guilt or shame. Users can log their cravings, manage their triggers, track their progress and celebrate their wins with a gamified app experience. For money-minded youth, the app features a cost calculator that can motivate users with how much money they’re saving by quitting.

Quash’s “do it your way” vibe is built on the Lung Health Foundation’s philosophy that quitting is never a one-size-fits-all experience. So whether it’s 670,000 or even 750,000 youth vaping every day, we can’t lose sight of the fact that they are all unique individuals.

They each deserve an empowering quit experience and all the support they can get. That’s why we’re inviting them all to quit with us.

The Lung Health Foundation’s Word on the Street campaign will be raising awareness about Quash throughout fall 2023. To support programs like Quash, consider a donation to the Lung Health Foundation.

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