Youth vaping is not an epidemic

The CVA has always condemned the use of vapour products by youth and non-smokers. Vaping is a harm reduction tool intended for adult smokers. However, it is concerning that anti-vape organizations have used youth as a tool to promote a false narrative that vaping has led to a youth epidemic.

While vape advocates have repeatedly refuted inflated statistics on youth vaping, anti-vapers continue to disregard the facts. The study, “Electronic cigarettes, nicotine use trends and use initiation ages among US adolescents from 1999 to 2018,” further proves that the emergence of the vaping industry has not caused harm to youth. In fact, the study has found that vaping may have prevented harm to youth by transitioning nicotine use to a less harmful delivery system.

The study concluded, “Electronic cigarettes may have offset conventional smoking among US adolescents between 2010 and 2018 by maintaining the total nicotine use prevalence and diverting them from more harmful conventional smoking. Additionally, electronic cigarette users appear to initiate at older ages relative to conventional smokers, which is associated with lower risk.”

While another study, “Prevalence of vaping and smoking among adolescents in Canada, England, and the United States: repeat national cross sectional surveys,” published by The BMJ in 2019 claimed that there was a significant increase in youth smoking rates after years of steady decline.

However, the release of Health Canada’s “Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CSTADS)”, has resulted in a forced correction to the study. The correction stated, “In the original paper in The BMJ, changes in past 30 day smoking prevalence between 2017 and 2018 in Canada were reported as 10.7% to 15.5% (a statistically significant increase), which was revised after reweighting to 10.7% to 10.0% (no significant change).”

Many provinces adopted harmful and restrictive regulations such as flavour bans as a result of this faulty study. The data now clearly shows that there is no youth epidemic and vaping is not a gateway to smoking.