What is vaping?

Vaping is becoming a popular alternative to smoking and it is heavily marketed to young people.

Users puff on a vaping device (like a vape pen), which super-heats a liquid into a flavoured mist. Many people think vaping is harmless because users don’t inhale smoke, but vape mist can contain very addictive nicotine as well as other harmful chemicals.

What are the health risks from vaping?

There are many studies in the works right now to better understand how vaping affects the lungs and the overall health of users. Right now, the long-term health risks from vaping are not well known because vaping is so new.

Health officials do know that the aerosolized vapour (the mist from a vaping pen) contains dozens of chemicals, such as formaldehydes, that can be harmful to users. Contaminants like tin, aluminium and nickel can also get into the vaping products that users inhale.

Some scientists believe people who vape regularly can develop ‘popcorn lung’ from a chemical called diacetyl, used to give flavour to the mist. Popcorn lung is a type of bronchitis that causes damage to the small airways in the lungs.

How can I quit?

Remember, there are places to turn for help in the Northwest Territories.

It’s never too late to quit!

If you are a young person who wants to stop vaping, talk to an adult that you trust or visit your local health centre to make an appointment to speak with a healthcare professional. You can also call 811 or 1-844-259-1793 for a private, confidential conversation with a registered nurse trained to help you quit vaping. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

While vaping is considered less harmful than cigarettes for regular smokers, health professionals recommend Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products like nicotine patches, gums, lozenges and inhalers for people who want to beat their cigarette habit.