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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
Different types of electronic cigarettes and vapes

Vaping

Vaping is not Harmless

  • Youth and non-smokers shouldn’t vape.
  • Vaping can increase your exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Vaping can lead to nicotine addiction.
  • The long-term consequences of vaping are unknown.
  • It’s rare, but defective vaping products (especially batteries) may catch fire or explode, causing burns and injuries
See our Frequently Asked Questions section below for common questions about vaping and vaping safety.

Additional Information

For Youth and Young Adults

For Parents, Teachers, and Educators

Public Health Learning Resources


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Vaping so Risky for Teens?

Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical. Youth are especially susceptible to its negative effects, as it can alter their brain development and affect memory and concentration. It can also lead to addiction and physical dependence. Children and youth may become dependent on nicotine more rapidly than adults.

Although not all vaping products contain nicotine, the majority of them do, and the level of nicotine can vary widely. Some vaping liquids have low levels, but many have levels of nicotine similar or higher than in a typical cigarette. Quitting vaping can be challenging once a teen has developed an addiction to nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant. Even if a vaping product does not contain nicotine, there is still a risk of being exposed to other harmful chemicals. Vaping nicotine can alter teen brain development.

Is Vaping less Harmful Than Smoking?

For smokers, vaping is less harmful than smoking. However, it is not safe for youth to use any nicotine products, including cigarettes and vaping products. In Ontario, both vaping and smoking are prohibited indoors, at the workplace, in schools & school property, sports fields, recreation facilities, patios, & other locations as per local municipal bylaws.

You must be 19+ to legally purchase vaping devices associated vaping products.

Is Vaping a Good Way to Quit Smoking?

E-cigarettes and other vaping products have not yet been proven as an effective way to quit smoking. Switching completely from combustible tobacco cigarette smoking to vaping will reduce your exposure to harmful toxins. While some people may use e-cigarettes to help them quit, many end up becoming dual users (use both cigarettes and e-cigarettes) which can increase your risk of many health concerns. If you are interested in quitting smoking, visit our Quit Smoking Clinic page.

Is it Safe to Vape Liquids?

The ingredients typically found in vaping liquids include glycerol, flavours, propylene glycol and varying levels of nicotine. The long-term safety of inhaling these substances in vaping products is unknown and continues to be assessed. There is no burning during vaping, instead, the liquid is heated. This process can cause reactions and create new chemicals, such as formaldehyde. Some contaminants, such as metals, might also get into the vaping products and then into the aerosol. This is usually the result of faulty or defective batteries. In rare occurrences, devices have even exploded due to battery malfunctions.

Is it Safe to Vape Cannabis?

Vaping is considered a lower-risk way of using cannabis (compared to smoking), according to the Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.

Is Vaping Legal?

See the Ontario Ministry of Health page about smoking and vaping laws to learn where smoking tobacco and cannabis or vaping anything (e.g. with an e-cigarette) is banned in Ontario.

Need More Information About Vaping?

Call 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 600.

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