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E-cigarette use almost tripled in Ottawa schools over last year

Ottawa by-law officers are asking for more vaping education to be offered to local students.
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The use of e-cigarettes on school property in Ottawa has nearly tripled since the implementation of the Smoke Free Ontario Act came into effect last October.

From the end of October 2018 to June 2019, Ottawa by-law officers issued about 130 fines to students who were caught vaping on school property.

"Thats's a significant increase over what we would normally see." said Jennifer Thomsen, a Tobacco Enforcement Officer with the city's bylaw department.

She said depending on the year, they would usually see about 50 enforcements, mostly outside.

With the increase in vaping, 90 per cent of the enforcements are now taking place indoors, with school staff catching most of those offenders.

Thomsen told 1310 NEWS, there's a variety of reasons they could be seeing a spike.

"It seems to be a fad that's really apppealing to the youth -- the flavouring, you get the sweet smells," she explained. "And there's other kids that don't want to be shunned, left out or bullied, so they're kind of drawn to it because everybody's doing it."

Thomsen also stressed that there's not enough information out there for students, especially in comparison to the knowledge that's out there around tobacco.

"We know the health effects of secondhand smoke," she said. "When it comes to vaping, we're just coming out with some of the medical studies now that's showing that just because [vaping] is less harmful, that doesn't mean it's good for you."

Thomsen added that is unfortunately leading kids to think that vaping is okay.


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