A national expert on smoking cessation calls the current trend of teens vaping "alarming," and wants stricter regulations around the advertising of vaping and vape products.
An Ottawa high school principal recently made news for removing the doors to the washrooms, to prevent teens vaping in his school. But teens puffing on e-cigarettes is not exclusively an Ottawa issue.
"I hear from my colleagues all across the country about teenagers smoking or vaping these devices in the classroom," said Dr. Andrew Pipe, University of Ottawa Heart Institute. "Teams of hockey players are using these devices en masse in the dressing room between periods."
While switching from smoking to exclusively vaping is less bad for one's health, a University of Ottawa Heart Institute doctor worries that vaping is creating a new generation of nicotine addicts who will then transition to smoking.
Health Canada brought in new regulations around the marketing of e-cigarettes and vaping products last November. While advertising to youth was already prohibited, November's changes also banned attempts to make the products appeal to youth -- such as interesting shapes or sounds, or flavours like candy, desserts, or soft drinks. Health Canada also banned product promotion by testimonials or endorsements.
Dr. Pipe thinks the regulations are inadequate, and would like to see the advertising of vaping products restricted and regulated the same as advertising for cigarettes and tobacco.
"This needs urgent attention, and it's as if we have not learned any of the lessons over the last 20 or 30 years in terms of how to control tobacco products," Dr. Pipe told 1310 NEWS. "The tobacco industry is laughing all the way to the bank."