Home > Vaping linked with severe lung illnesses.

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (2019) Vaping linked with severe lung illnesses. Ontario: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. 7 p.

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“Vaping” refers to the use of an electronic device (e-cigarette, vape, vape-pen, etc.) with a heating element that, when activated, vaporizes a liquid so that the user of the device can inhale the vapour. The liquid, made for this purpose and commonly called an “e-liquid,” contains solvents, additives, water, flavourings and diverse active ingredients, usually liquid nicotine or cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD,* suspended in oils. The vapours, when inhaled by the person who vapes, produces psychoactive effects. While nicotine and cannabinoids are the most common psychoactive drugs consumed through vaping (Jones, Hill, Pardini, & Meier, 2016; Tucker et al., 2019), recent evidence shows that e-cigarettes can also be used as a way to deliver other non-medical psychotropic substances, such as methamphetamine and heroin (Breitbarth, Morgan, & Jones, 2018; Krakowiak, Poklis, & Peace, 2019).

Earlier studies suggested that vaping nicotine is less harmful to the lungs and respiratory system than cigarette smoking (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018), and consequently vaping has emerged as a common method of inhaling nicotine and cannabinoids. According to the 2017 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 15% of Canadians in the general population (aged 15 years and older) reported using an e-cigarette in their life, which represents a significant increase from the 13% reported in 2015 (Statistics Canada, 2017).

Even more concerning is the popularity of vaping among youth and this is a trend that appears to be steadily growing. According to the most recent data obtained by the Youth Tobacco and Vaping Survey of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, 37% of Canadians aged 16 to 19 years old reported lifetime use of a nicotine e-cigarette in 2018, which represents a significant increase from the 29.3% reported in 2017 (Hammond et al., 2019). Vaping has also become a common way of inhaling cannabis among Canadians, with 29% of cannabis-using individuals (aged 15 years and older) indicating that vaping is their preferred method for cannabis use (Statistics Canada, 2017).


Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:Tobacco
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction
Date:November 2019
Pages:7 p.
Publisher:Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Corporate Creators:Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Place of Publication:Ontario
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Tobacco (cigarette smoking) > Nicotine product (e-cigarette / vaping)
G Health and disease > State of health > Physical health
VA Geographic area > Canada

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