Electronic cigarettes also known as e-cigarettes or vaping devices are hand held battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale aerosol or vapor that contains nicotine, or other substances. The main component of e-cigarettes are the pre-filled cartridges that are refillable and customizable based on nicotine content, vapor production, and flavour.
In Canada, as a result of the recent passing of Bill S-5, e-cigarettes and vaping products containing nicotine are now legal and can be sold as consumer products by retailers. It is illegal to sell non-prescription e-cigarettes and vaping products to those under the age of 18. Nicotine exposure during adolescence may have long-term effects on brain development and future nicotine addiction. Our Talking About Series on vaping can help you speak to youth about the associated health risks.
If you don’t smoke, don’t start vaping, as it is unclear whether e-cigarettes lead to nicotine addiction. If you do smoke, switching completely to electronic cigarettes may significantly reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals and carcinogens. More research is still required to understand the risks or harms associated with electronic cigarette use. Speak with a medical professional about whether it is a good alternative to smoking for you in your journey to quit.