Vaping in Canada: what we know

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We conduct research about vaping in Canada to:

Surveys

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey

This is a survey of Canadians 15 years and older. It asks about their use of:

  • vaping products
  • tobacco
  • alcohol
  • drugs

The most recent survey was done in 2017. It showed:

  • 15% of Canadians have tried a vaping product (referred to as an e-cigarette in the survey). Youth (15 to 19 years) and young adults (20 to 24 years) have the highest rates of trying vaping. This compares to adults 25 years and older.
  • Among Canadians who used a vaping product in the past 30 days, 65% are current smokers and 20% are former smokers. 15% reported having never smoked cigarettes.
  • 32% of current or former cigarette smokers who had ever used vaping products reported using it as a quit-smoking aid.

This survey did not include questions about the rate of success of attempts to quit smoking using vaping products.

Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey

This is a survey of Canadian students between grades 7 and 12 (secondary I to secondary V in Quebec). It asks about their use of:

  • vaping products
  • tobacco
  • alcohol
  • drugs

The survey is done every 2 years. The most recent survey was done in 2018-19. It showed that:

  • 34% of students in grades 7-12 had ever tried a vaping product (referred to as an e-cigarette in the survey) and 20% reported using them within the last 30 days.
    • Specifically, 28% had ever tried an e-cigarette with nicotine and 29% had ever tried an e-cigarette without nicotine.
    • 18% of students have used an e-cigarette with nicotine and 11% had used an e-cigarette without nicotine in the past 30 days. 
  • Most students who had tried a vaping product (such as e-cigarettes) had also tried a cigarette.
  • 54% of all students thought it would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get an e-cigarette with nicotine if they wanted one, and 58% thought it would be “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get an e-cigarette without nicotine if they wanted one.

Retailer behaviour data

We use research studies to:

  • inform decision-making concerning the vaping product market
  • monitor how easy it is for youth to get these products

Scientific Advisory Board

Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research set up a Scientific Advisory Board on Vaping Products. This advisory board regularly:

  • reviews evidence and provides advice
  • reviews the science on vaping products

The board includes:

  • scientists
  • academics
  • researchers
  • health professionals

The members are experts in:

  • clinical medicine
  • population and public health
  • basic and biomedical science

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