GOLD

Vaping: A Lesser of Two Evils, Or Is It?

This project analyzes how media tactics used in the past by vaping companies directly affect the increasing prevalence of youth who engage in vaping or e-cigarette use.
Zahra Osman
Grade 7

Problem

 

 

  Problem  

How do media tactics used in the past by vaping companies directly affect the increasing prevalence of youth who engage in vaping or e-cigarette use?

Method

Not Applicable - Performed a Research Study

Research

Background Research

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling vapour through a vaping device or an electronic cigarette. Most devices use a battery to heat the liquid. The liquid turns into vapour that condenses into an aerosol and users inhale the substance. The liquid in a vape or the “e-juice” as it is sometimes referred to as may contain nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals (like glycerol and propylene glycol).

 

                                                                                                                     

               

                              

 

What are E-Cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are electronic cigarettes which are smoking devices. There are usually four parts to an e-cigarette. These parts are the battery, heating element, tank, and mouthpiece. The battery and the heating element (coil) are used to heat the liquid. E-cigarettes have cartridges or tanks that contain a liquid that often has chemicals, nicotine, and flavourings. The heat causes the liquid to vaporize, which then condenses into an aerosol and is inhaled by the user.

 

 

Who Created E-Cigarettes and Who Was the Target Group?

Hon Lik is a Chinese pharmacist that was a heavy smoker. His father had passed away from lung cancer and Hon had tried everything to stop smoking. In 2004, after years of failed attempts to stop smoking, Hon Lik created the first e-cigarette. The e-cigarette was a simulation of an actual cigarette so that smokers could still experience the sensation of smoking through a vapor that delivered nicotine. E-cigarettes were supposed to decrease the use of cigarettes and offer a cleaner and safer method of smoking. Instead, a whole new industry and consumer base was created, one of existing smokers and new smokers.

 

                                                                                                                                                

 

 

What do Vapes or E-Cigarettes Contain?

                                                                                                                              

 

Nicotine

Nicotine is a chemical found in tobacco plants, Nicotiana tabacum Nicotine can also be made synthetically. Nicotine is very addicting, and it introduces people to the very dangerous effects of tobacco dependency. Nicotine causes a release of adrenaline which stimulates the body. Glucose is immediately released and there is an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing activity. It can affect hormones, the heart and gastrointestinal system because of its side effects. Similar to heroin use, nicotine causes the release of dopamine. Dopamine is referred to as a chemical messenger. It is what allows us to experience pleasure. Nicotine is something that is found in both cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

 

                                                                                                                                          

 

Flavourings

Flavourings can be both artificial and natural. The concept that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes is a statement that is still being researched. We are all aware of the effects of nicotine. Natural flavours are defined as flavours that come from plants and animals (essential oils, essence, roasting, heating, etc.). All other flavours that are not derived naturally are considered artificial. An important point to remember is all flavours, whether natural or artificial, were produced by chemicals. The word “flavour” in the ingredients list is broad as it does not specify the source of the flavour and how it was produced. Vaping products and e-liquids contain warnings about nicotine, but they do not list any precautions about the flavours or the other chemicals. The risks of inhaling these flavours are unknown.

                                                                                                                            

 

What is Glycerol and Propylene Glycol?

Glycerol is vegetable glycerin when it is in liquid form. Propylene Glycol is a syrupy liquid that is tasteless and odourless. These are the most common vaporizing solvents used in e-cigarettes. Both of these are considered to be humectants. Humectants are used to keep things moist. Long-term exposure to glycerin and propylene glycol in e-cigarettes has not been investigated.

                                                                                                                                                                      

 

 

What are the Effects of Vaping?

Vaping has not been around long enough, so we are not completely sure of all the effects it has on the body. However, experts in health have found the increase of chemical exposure can cause serious lung damage and some deaths(you might need to site this). Similar to cigarettes, nicotine in vaping can cause slow development in the brain for teenagers and can affect memory, self-control, mood, attention and concentration. E-cigarettes irritate the lungs and can initiate smoking cigarettes and smoking other tobacco forms. It can also increase the risk of other kinds of addictions in the future. There is also an eminent concern that the product’s appeal will cause an increased use of tobacco products in youth.

                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

 

What do E-Cigarettes Look Like and What Makes Them Appealing?

E-cigarettes come in all different shapes, sizes, and colours. They can be shaped as normal cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Others can look like USBs, pens and other items used everyday. E-cigarettes can also come in a variety of colours. The packaging on most of the e-cigarettes used to be very colourful and there were catchy advertisements regarding the flavour on posters and social media platforms. The flavour is especially important. These e-cigarettes contain cool and yummy flavours, such as cotton candy, which is very appealing to youth. The wide range of flavoured products appealed directly to teens and youth and this increased the use of vape among their population.

 

                                                                                                                        

                                                                          

 

What are Some Brands of E-Cigarettes?

Some brands of e-cigarettes are Juul, Aspire, Juice Head, Samsung, Sony, and Allo.

                                                                                                                                                                        

 

 

 

What is a JUUL?

E-cigarettes come in different forms but the JUUL is popular due to its sleek design. The JUUL looks like a USB and can charge in a laptop’s USB port. JUUL creates a smaller amount of smoke than other e-cigarettes so some teenagers use them at school and in home. A single nicotine pod for a JUUL is equivalent to a full pack of cigarettes.  JUUL uses nicotine salt which delivers high levels of nicotine concentration in a way that is easier to inhale. There is increased concern about the effects of nicotine salts and developing youth. You can get easily addicted to the use of e-cigarettes even if you do not use them daily.

                                                                                                                                                                         

 

Cigarettes vs. E-Cigarettes
 

 

Similarities

Differences

 

When first launched, they both had colourful and appealing packaging 

 

Cigarette packaging now shows the negative effects and dangers of smoking whereas e-cigarette warns the user about nicotine use and addiction. It doesn’t list anything about potential chemicals causing lung damage

 

 

When first launched, they both had advertising portraying young people using the product

 

E-cigarettes are portrayed as cool and are preferred by youth whereas youth may find regular cigarettes disgusting and only for older people 

 

Both are a form of smoking

 

E-cigarettes do not contain as many harmful chemicals as cigarettes do, however, there is a lot that we do not know about what chemicals are produced during the heating of the “e-juice”

 

Both contain nicotine

E-cigarettes do not contain tar and cigarettes do

 

Both are addictive and can cause health problems

 

The consequences of cigarettes have to be noted as a regulation whereas the consequences of e-cigarettes are not all noted because there is a lot we do not know

 

 

 

Length of Time to Smoke a Cigarette vs. an E-Cigarette

For a cigarette, a person can take about 10 puffs from it in the 5 minutes that it remains lit. However, for an e-cigarette, the pod can last about three to five days depending on the user. There are vapers that can finish one pod in just one day. E-cigarettes are used multiple times. A lot of people like e-cigarettes better because they last longer. The measure of use depends on the dependency of the user.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Research

When was Vaping Introduced to Canada?

E-cigarettes and other vaping products without nicotine were introduced to Canada in 2004. The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act of 2018 was introduced after the flavoured products increased the use of vaping amongst teens and youth. The regulation was put forth because of the marketing of these products which was very appealing in the eyes of teens and youth. Vaping’s initial purpose was to help smokers transition away from smoking but through advertising, flavours and retail access in the market, it opened the door for a variety of users. This is what needed to change.

                                                                                                                                            

 

 

Proposed Alberta Laws on Vaping

 

Bill 19 – The Tobacco, Smoking and Vaping Reduction Act

Bans anyone under the age of 18 from using e-cigarettes.

Photo identification must be provided for those over the age of 18 in order for them to purchase, possess and consume vape products.

There is an advertisement restriction in place for convenience stores and gas stations.

There are now similar restrictions on where tobacco and vape products cannot be used. Some of these are hospitals, playgrounds, bicycle parks, and public outdoor pools, just to name a few. You can find a full list on the Alberta government website.

There are limitations on where vape products can be sold.

There are currently no restrictions on vape flavoured products. The government does have the authority to impose restrictions in the future if they desire to.

2014-2015 – Vaping rates in Alberta High School students was 8%.

2018-2019 – Vaping rate in Alberta High School students was 30%.

Evidence shows there is an increase in lung damage, nicotine poisoning, and addiction with use of vaping products.

 

                                                                                                                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data

Health Canada Surveys 2014-2015

 

Data points from Health Canada

Health Canada Surveys 2016-2017


Data points from Health Canada

Health Canada Surveys 2018-2019

Data points from Health Canada

Interview

I interviewed Dr. Juliet Guichon, a professor at the University of Calgary, over a phone call. I had asked her a set of questions about vaping and she gave me a lot of insight on my topic. I had asked her the following questions…

                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Do You Think that Vaping is a Cessation Aid for Smoking Cigarettes? 

Dr. Guichon had explained that there is no clear evidence to prove that vaping can lead to the cessation of smoking. She did, however, say that there is a little bit of evidence on individuals switching from smoking to vaping, but also deciding to use both products. She was not sure if vaping leads to cessation, but she was sure that it leads to smoking initiation.  

                                                                                                                        

What Are Your Thoughts on Why it Took so Long to Introduce Vaping to Bill-19?

Dr. Guichon explained to me that Bill 19 was passed by majority vote in the legislative assembly in June of 2020. Then, the Lieutenant Governor signed the bill on behalf of the Queen. All that remains is the law to be proclaimed and Dr. Guichon questioned why the law hasn’t been proclaimed yet. She had also explained that in the past both the New Democratic and the Progressive Conservative Parties had enforced very few laws. She did point out that the Progressive Conservative Party put forward laws that did not ban flavours or reduce nicotine levels. It appeared as if it just helped small businesses. 

 

 

 

With the Information We Have on E-Cigarettes, Why Were There Not More Regulatory Measures Set Up in the Beginning?

Dr. Guichon answered that when vaping was first introduced, there was only a very small market for people who vape. There was the hope that if people vaped products containing nicotine, smokers would refrain from smoking, reducing harm to their health. She believes Health Canada was watching the prevalence of vaping but was not expecting the large incidence of cases when JUUL entered the market. Dr. Guichon explained that JUUL increased vaping rates due to the nicotine concentration of their products being 66 mg/mL. People became very addicted due to the high concentration, in addition to the nicotine salts preparation which JUUL patented. This preparation took away the harshness and aggressiveness of taking in tobacco, providing a smoother vaping experience compared to other products in the market at the time. 

 

With the Information We Have on E-Cigarettes, Why Were There Not More Regulatory Measures Set 

Up in the Beginning? Cont…

Nevertheless, all the policy field altered because there was an influx of complaints from principals that some youth were not coming to class and were even motivated to remove the door on the washrooms. There was a huge outcry among educators to Health Canada to find and address the problem. Dr. Guichon interestingly pointed out that governments, however, are also in a conflict of interest to a certain extent because they benefit off tobacco taxation.

 

For Vaping Products Without Nicotine, Do They Still Pose Potential Health Risks?

Dr. Guichon informed me that EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) was first recognized in the winter of 2019. Younger individuals with EVALI were passing away, but interestingly, not due to the inhalation of nicotine-related vaping fumes. The deaths were attributed to an intake of vitamin E acetate that was added to the vaping products. Dr. Guichon then made it clear that just because a vaping product does not have nicotine does not make it harmless. In fact, we have seen that people have died or required lung transplants from vaping products that did not have nicotine in them, but vitamin E acetate.

 

 

Similar to Cigarette Use, Youth Can Still Get Vaping Products From Family or Friends of age. Do You Then Think That Bill-19 is Enough to Decrease Youth Use of Vaping?

Dr. Guichon informed me that this was a great question for a grade 7 student. She did explain, however, that it was also very complicated. Dr. Guichon has a PhD in law, and she told me about the constitution and how it allocated power between the federal and provincial government.  The constitution gives the federal government power over crime. That is why we have a criminal code that operates across the country. The provincial government has jurisdiction over health. So, the federal government is using their criminal jurisdiction to regulate vaping and the provincial government is using their health jurisdiction to regulate vaping. The federal government passed the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act in May 2018 and that act made it unlawful to sell vaping products to people under the age of 18. So, even though the provincial government has not proclaimed its law in force, it is still unlawful to sell vaping products to people under the age of 18 because of the federal act. This is a field that has shared responsibility. 

 

If Health Canada is Successful in Their Campaign to Lower the Nicotine Levels From 66mg/mL to 20mg/mL, Would That Not Affect the Effectiveness of Using Vaping as a Cessation Program? Who Would Then Benefit From Vaping?

Dr. Guichon explained that we do not have good evidence to suggest that vaping is an effective cessation aid. Manufacturers of vaping companies argue that we should not lower the nicotine levels for people who use it as cessation aids, but we have no proof that vaping has good cessation properties. Another thing she informed me of is that when people seek to cease smoking, they do so for many reasons. Some do it because they received a lung cancer diagnosis. Those people tend to stop immediately. Some people have had other health scares like pregnancy. It is important that we support them to reduce their nicotine consumption. There are programs that do that such as nicotine patches. According to Dr. Guichon, if all vaping products disappeared from the market overnight, we would still have cessation programs like patches and gum and those are better regulated because we know how much nicotine is in them. With vaping products, we do not really know exactly how much nicotine is in them. She also warned to be careful when manufacturers say that vaping is a cessation program. That is their marketing pitch. It is not proven that that is the case. We do know that they cause people to start smoking, and these are people who would have never started smoking if they did not try vaping. 

 

What Do You Think Should be the Recommended Dose of Nicotine in Vaping Products?

Dr. Guichon believes that Europe has demonstrated that there is not a vaping epidemic at 20 mg/mL, so we should start with that because it is a palatable measure for most of the public. We can then justify it in that North America is an outlier because our levels are way too high here. Once it is lowered to 20 mg/mL, we can re-evaluate. 

 

Why Do You Think Vaping can be Perceived as More “Socially Acceptable” Than Smoking?

Dr. Guichon believed it is due to the fact that it does not smell. For example, it smells like mango whereas cigarettes smell horrible. Also, the devices are sleek. They are high tech and appear to be harmless. When a cigarette is burning, the fire makes it look dangerous, but we do not see that fire with vaping. 

 

                                                                                                                                                         

 

 

Since Perceptions About Vaping Have Already Been Developed by Youth Based on Previous Advertising Tactics, Do You Think It’s Possible to Change Such Perceptions About Vaping With Current Policy Implementation?

People were lying on their bed, displaying how they could not breathe from the effects and this was shown on Instagram and TikTok. Those videos had huge effects on whether vaping was cool. 

 

It is Unlikely That Vaping Products Will be Taken Off the Market Given That There is a Demand and Associated Revenue Attached to it. Do You Think We Have Potentially Created Another Issue We Will Have to Deal With in the Future?

According to Dr. Guichon, we have caused young people to smoke who would have never smoked, because it is very easy to switch from vaping to cigarettes once someone has developed a nicotine addiction. Vaping has become a ramp to smoking. To conclude our interview, Dr. Guichon informed that while vaping is not for everybody, youth have an eight-time greater likelihood of moving on to smoking had he or she not vaped.

 

 

2nd Interview

I also interviewed Stacey McRae-Arbuthnott, a Health Promotion Facilitator, over a zoom meeting. She gave me useful information that helped with my project. I had asked her the same questions that I had asked Dr. Guichon and here are her responses…..

                                                                                                                                    

 

Do You Think that Vaping is a Cessation Aid for Smoking Cigarettes? 

Stacey had explained that she does not think that vaping is a cessation aid and explained why she feels this way. She had said that she understands the concept of reducing risk with burnt tobacco, but regarding it being a great cessation tool, she did not agree. There is no research surrounding the topic and the scientific evidence isn’t proving that people are choosing to smoke less or stop smoking when they transition from using tobacco cigarettes to vaporizers. She had also said that she thinks that people who transition into using vaporizers end up using it more. The flavours are more convenient in that you won’t have to stand outside and use the product. People can sneak vapes into buildings, especially when we look at high school classrooms. With no regulation on how much nicotine is in the product, a lot of people are consuming more nicotine than before when they were smoking.

 

 

What are Your Thoughts on Why it Took so Long to Introduce Vaping to Bill-19?

Stacey had started off by saying that this is a multilayered question. She thinks that Big Tobacco have great influence throughout government. She also thinks that there are plenty of government officials that have Big Tobacco on their portfolios and need to make certain people happy. This was something that they didn’t really know too much about and didn’t realize would become a big primarily with our adolescent population. Rolling out public health measures is also challenging. Fortunately, tobacco regulation set up the road that we need to be taking with e-cigarettes. 

 

 

With the Information we Have on E-Cigarettes, Why Were There Not More Regulatory Measures Set Up in the Beginning?

Stacey’s input on this was that because the message was that e-cigarettes were safe, there was no combustion. With no combustion, they were thinking that there would be less carcinogenic effects. She was completely honest and said that she doesn’t understand why there weren’t more measures. She is assuming that it has to do with what she mentioned earlier with Big Tobacco and the government, and how they didn’t expect it to be so concerning for young people.

 

 

For Vaping Products Without Nicotine, Do They Still Pose Potential Health Risks?

Stacey answered yes. She does think that they still pose potential health risks. She said that anything that you put in your lungs that isn’t air has an element of risk.

 

 

Similar to Cigarette Use, Youth Can Still Get Vaping Products From Family or Friends of age. Do You Then Think That Bill-19 is Enough to Decrease Youth Use of Vaping?

Stacey explained that when we consider experimentation with tobacco products including e-cigarettes, if they are accessible, there is a potential for experimentation. This doesn’t relate to tobacco products alone, however, as alcohol and cannabis products are also legal. A lot of young people have their first experimentation with these products because they are in their household and are not being monitored effectively. She thinks that we need to model tobacco and alcohol laws so people can comply without resistance. People that are told no tend to find ways to make it a yes in their own minds. She believes that the lessening of nicotine, removal of flavours, making sure that it is falling under the age of legality and our government monitoring sales would be the best way to prevent young people from accessing these products. There is not a lot of information around vaping and we are seeing more uniformed parents that are not taking the time to get their information from referable sources.

 

If Health Canada is Successful in Their Campaign to Lower the Nicotine Levels From 66mg/ml to 20mg/ml, Would That Not Affect the Effectiveness of Using Vaping as a Cessation Program? Who Would Then Benefit From Vaping?

Stacey had explained that e-cigarettes were created as a cessation tool, and society didn’t expect them to become another tobacco product. When vaping started to increase in popularity, the tobacco companies got involved and started to market it as another form of smoking. She thinks that it is important to lower the nicotine levels because it will reduce risk, substance abuse and dependency on the product. However, she still thinks that it will be marketed as a cessation tool rather then a safer way of smoking. We are always going to get people who are going to consume tobacco in either form. Most people that are vaping have never touched a cigarette before, so this is their introduction to tobacco and nicotine dependency. People who are going to smoke or experiment with these products will benefit from the experience, because it is something that will meet their need, change their mood, and enhance their experience. Nevertheless, in attempting to minimize vaping, she thinks that smoking 20 mg/mL and slowly reducing usage of the product is great. This resembles using other NRT (nicotine replacement therapy), like the patch or gum.

What Do You Think Should be the Recommended Dose of Nicotine in Vaping Products?

Stacey referenced the amount of nicotine in a cigarette, 6.7 to 12.65 mg, when answering this question. She explained to me that in asking if there is a safe level of nicotine, what is in a tobacco cigarette needs to be modelled, and the ingredients need to be consistent for each product. To remove nicotine from products in the market, Stacey would like to see doctors prescribe products that do not contain nicotine for nicotine replacement therapy. We know that we can lessen the dependency and addiction rates for our young people, and hopefully save them money and reduce their health risks. For current smokers, this may be challenging for those who have switched to vaping. They really need the tobacco dependency, so they don’t go through withdrawal. This is where being able to purchase products almost becomes a human rights issue, as it keeps them from getting sick.

 

Why Do You Think Vaping can be Perceived as More “Socially Acceptable” Than Smoking?

Stacey’s input on this was it depends on who you ask. She told me that with cigarettes, we know the impact on our economy and especially on our health care system. She was not sure if vaping is socially acceptable, but she did know that it’s an alternative that people think is safe. She also had said that she thinks it’s perceived to be more socially acceptable because of the way it is advertised and marketed. Marketing greatly influences what people choose to buy, and their experience with the products. All vaping marketing has made it out to be a clean and safe accessible option to experiment with.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                      

Based on Your Research, Do You Think Vaping in Youth May Increase Their Curiosity and Experimentation in Trying Other Tobacco Products?

Stacey explained that, in her field, they get this question regarding gateway drugs often. She doesn’t believe that using one drug leads to using another, but that who you hang out with matters. If your friends are vaping, then you will start to, as well. She believes that it is your social group that influences what you choose to do in your life, but also the family role models you have. We do know that there is evidence that young people who have never smoked before have started experimenting with tobacco more often than they did in previous years. When there is accessibility and people in your life that are experimenting with products, there is definitely a risk for people to try other forms of nicotine.

 

Since Perceptions About Vaping Have Already Been Developed by Youth Based on Previous Advertising Tactics, Do You Think It’s Possible to Change Such Perceptions About Vaping With Current Policy Implementation?

Stacey thinks that if policy becomes a priority, then there is going to be more knowledge and awareness about the potential harm relating to e-cigarettes and vaping. She also thinks that if there is policy behind vaping, parents will become more aware and knowledgeable on how they can prevent their children from experimenting with the product.

 

It is Unlikely That Vaping Products Will be Taken Off the Market Given That There is a Demand and Associated Revenue Attached to it. Do You Think We Have Potentially Created Another Issue We Will Have to Deal With in the Future?

Stacey believes we have created another issue. She believes that e-cigarettes were not intended to become vaping products popular among adolescents. As it was created for a nicotine replacement therapy, tobacco companies found a way to profit off these new products and manipulate people into purchasing them. They have done a great job of creating culture and identity around vaping products. From “Cloud Chasers” to the release of special vape juice, young people are constantly being marketed to. Unfortunately, the government is also making money off these products with taxation. They may try to regulate these products, and then all we can really do is focus on health promotion measures to increase knowledge and awareness. She thinks that there should be more research on cessation programs for youth in relation to vaping, because all cessation programs are tested and piloted with adults and not necessarily young people. It also needs to be more accessible in schools so that if young people do want to quit vaping or not start at all, they have better access to education and cessation tools to protect themselves. She definitely thinks we have created a huge problem, and big problems like this will come. When science is involved and discovers what vaping does to the body, larger problems are likely to occur. She also interestingly pointed out that we are not sure where the money for these taxes actually goes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Conclusion

In conclusion, media tactics used by vaping companies in the past directly appeal to youth. Even with increased regulations, the new “vaping” consumer group continues to grow. E-cigarettes were introduced in Canada in 2004. For 14 years, media companies were given the opportunity to expand their consumer base. The inventor of the e-cigarette, Hon Lik, created the e-cigarette as a smoking cessation device. The target group for this device should have been smokers. Instead, it was marketed as a new and safe device, with all its cool features, and was marketed as harmless. Fourteen years is a long time to now want individuals to follow regulations. As I mentioned before, teenagers are sourcing their vaping products, meaning they are having others purchase them for them. I understand that nicotine is used in other smoking cessation products like the nicotine patch. However, it has been known for decades how addictive nicotine can be. 

 

                                                                                                                                           

Another issue we are facing here in Canada is not all regulations are the same nationally. This past year, Alberta passed legislation banning anyone under the age of eighteen from using e-cigarettes. British Columbia and Nova Scotia lowered the nicotine concentration in vaping products to 20 mg/mL. In December 2020, Health Canada announced a public consultation on reducing the nicotine concentration in all vaping products and banning the sale of any products that exceed these limits. The current limit is 66 mg/mL. The consultation ends at the beginning of March. They will take the input of Canadians into consideration. Alberta did the same and that is why we do not have a ban on flavours or limit concentration levels. The Alberta Government reported that they received numerous letters from current smokers that they needed current levels of nicotine to remain the same and that the flavours were helping. 

 

                                                                                                                                                                          

We are now dealing with three consumer groups: the current youth group, the non-smokers in their twenties that started vaping in their teens, and the smokers that are vaping to reduce or stop smoking. In 2014, global sales of e-cigarettes reached 6 billion dollars. There are over 450 brands and over a thousand e-liquid flavours. Tobacco companies are purchasing the current e-cigarette companies and manufacturing their own vaping devices. An existing market means money in the pockets of large organizations. The only way to stop the increase in vaping among teens is to bring legislation forward that regulates who can use the vaping products. To do this, you need more than a regulation on age. Only current smokers should be allowed to use the vaping products as cessation products. All marketing and media tactics need to change, and vaping products should be promoted only as smoking cessation devices. If this does not happen, we are going to continue to see an increase in youth vaping.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

What's Next?

Due to the pandemic this year, it was difficult to conduct studies or surveys. I would have liked to survey the grade nine students in my school. I would have also liked to find out how many of their family members and friends vape. Vaping has become more of a culture. Vaping and e-cigarettes have been promoted as harmless. Studies are just coming out now with possible side effects. There is a lot that still needs to be done. One important thing is looking at what chemicals are produced from heating the e-juice or liquid in e-cigarettes. 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Another aspect I would like to explore is how many teens started smoking cigarettes after using e-cigarettes. The nicotine in e-cigarettes can be very addictive. I would like to research if a cessation product can actually become an addiction when the product is marketed otherwise.

I think people would be interested in knowing my results because there are a lot of things that we do not know about vaping. Unfortunately, vaping has become the new smoking, especially among teens. Even with increased regulations, vaping’s consumer group continues to grow. Beside it now being an addiction, there are other issues arising with vaping products. 

If vaping liquid is swallowed, it can become poisonous. It is required by law for these liquids to have child resistant caps and a poison hazard symbol. 

Heating vaping liquids can cause new chemicals to form. Contaminants from the heated coil can get into the vaping liquid and then into the vapour.

 More studies about second-hand vaping should be done. 

Diacetyl is a buttery flavoured chemical used in flavouring popcorn. There have been studies conducted on people who work in popcorn factories and inhale diacetyl. They were diagnosed with something called popcorn lung which is linked to serious lung disease. The popcorn industry stopped using diacetyl, however, vaping companies were using it, the point being that chemicals when heated can cause severe lung damage.

                                                                                                                                                           

Citations

 

References

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/e-cigarettes.html    

 

https://www.dentalcare.com/en-us/professional-education/ce-courses/ce451/the-history-of-e-cigarettes#:~:text=Hon%20Lik%20invented%20the%20e,passed%20away%20from%

 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240820

 

https://www.henryford.com/blog/2018/04/the-health-risks-of-e-cigarettes-vs-traditional-cigarettes#:~:text=An%20e-cigarette%20is%20an,does%20produce%20other%20toxic%2

 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/tobacco-nicotine-e-cigarettes/how-does-tobacco-deliver-its-effects#:~:text=By%20inhaling%20tobacco%20smoke%2C

 

https://www.vaperempire.com.au/blog/how-long-do-vape-pods-last/#:~:text=Generally%20speaking%2C%20most%20vape%20pods,than%20multiple%20times%20per%20hour.

 

https://www.alberta.ca/addressing-health-harms-of-smoking-and-vaping.aspx

 

https://www.cbc.ca/kidsnews/post/juul-will-no-longer-sell-flavoured-vaping-pods-in-canada-heres-why

 

https://globalnews.ca/news/7018388/alberta-e-cigarette-bill-youth/

 

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canadian-student-tobacco-alcohol-drugs-survey/2014-2015-summary.html

 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240820                                                       

 

https://www.vapetrotter.com/news/hon-lik-the-godfather-of-vape/

 

https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/emerging-tobacco-products/what-juul

 

https://www.heartandstroke.ca/-/media/pdf-files/position-statements/ecigarettesincanada.ashx

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455879/

 

https://www.albertaquits.ca/topics/electronic-cigarettes

 

Google Images

 

Interview with Dr. Juliet Guichon

 

Netflix Documentary Broken

 

Interview with Stacey McRae Arbuthnott

 

 

Acknowledgement

Special Thanks

I would like to thank Dr. Guichon and Stacey McRae-Arbuthnott for taking the time to meet with me especially during these times. They were both very supportive and their words of encouragement inspire me to continue my interest in research. Even after our interview, Dr.Guichon continued to email me with new information about vaping. Her team at SAAVE also offered to assist with my project. I know that, thanks to their support, I would be able to build on this project. I am very excited to pursue science inquiry especially when it relates to the effects on health.

I would like to thank my science teacher, Ms. Nambiar, and my science coordinator, Mrs. Aly. Ms. Nambiar is one of the best things that has happened to our class this year. During this pandemic, she has been supportive and has always remained understanding and helpful. Thank you to Mrs. Aly for always taking the time to answer my questions and provide me with the information I need. I know that this year the fair looks a lot different and I know that a lot of people have taken the time to make this all happen.

Finally, I would like to thank my family, especially my parents. My mom and dad are always there to cheer us on and to motivate my sisters and I. They are always so supportive, and they encourage us to shoot for the stars. My dad’s love for his science and history channels has grown on me. There is so much we don’t know and we have to learn.