Vaping harms outweigh charms, says Canadian survey

Vaping detractors have nearly doubled in the last year as dozens of cases of vaping-related deaths come to light across North America

Canadians appear to be turning against vaping as more evidence of its harmful effects are brought to light. 

Over the last year, the number of Canadians who say vaping does more harm than good has nearly doubled, from 32% to 62%, according to a recent Angus Reid poll.

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As people come to terms with the potential health effects of vaping, many have pointed to young people’s access to vaping as a major cause for concern.

Across Canada, one in five parents with children under 19 say they know their children vape, and nearly all of them (92%) say they know it’s harmful. That’s over a year in which 14 deaths were reported across the country. 

The number of Canadians who say vaping does more harm than good has nearly doubled over the last yea
The number of Canadians who say vaping does more harm than good has nearly doubled over the last year. - Angus Reid Institute

Like many communities across the country, people in the Tri-Cities have struggled to find solutions to the growing health problem. In response to reports emerging throughout North America about sickness and deaths related to vaping, School District 43 and Fraser Health have teamed up to urge youths to think twice before they start puffing.

Combating youth vaping is the goal of a new education program geared to middle and secondary school students. The program, which was introduced to Grade 5 to 7 classes last fall, will include videos, presentations and resources, and and is aimed at debunking popular myths that vaping is harmless, according to administrators. 

But in the same way smoking was peddled to older generations, influences to vape come from all directions, and many parents say more needs to be done to help young people and their parents navigate the tricky terrain.

The study found that 90% of Canadians say they support a ban on advertising of vaping products in places often frequented by young people, including parks, bus shelters and around schools. A further 82% say they support restricting the sale of flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores. 

Some other key findings from the poll include:

• Half of Canadians (46%) support a total ban on vaping while a third say this would be going too far.

• More people support banning flavoured vaping products, with 60% saying it would be a good idea and 23% stating they disagree.

• A quarter of Canadians now say they have vaped, up from 18% in 2018 and 9% in 2013.

—With files from Diane Strandberg

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