A new survey suggests Canadians are becoming increasingly worried about the popularity of vapes and e-cigarettes with people under the age of 18.
Of the 1500 Canadians surveyed, almost 90% backed a ban that would prohibit certain types of e-cigarette marketing that officials say is geared towards minors, even if they’re using the product to quit smoking traditional tobacco.
The study also found that people were more likely to be in on the side of vapes and e-cigarettes if they were smokers themselves.
Among tobacco users of all ages surveyed, 45% of daily smokers and 40% of occasional smokers reported also using e-cigarettes.
The number of Canadians who smoke tobacco has continued to decline to an all time low, with the smoking rate presently sitting at 18% in Canada.
However, the survey suggests vaping is on the rise, in 2013 8.5% of Canadians say they had tried vaping and in 2015 that number jumped to 13.2%.
David Hammond, a tobacco control policy expert, said that while many young people have tried e-cigarettes, what should be of most concern is whether they are just experimenting or if they are vaping on a regular basis.
“The simple equation is this: vaping may help some people to quit smoking. If it does that, it will have a public health benefit,” said Hammond, commenting on the survey findings.
“Vaping may make some youth more likely to start (smoking). There’s a strong association, but most of that is probably the type of kids that do risky behaviours. If you’re going to try one, you’re going to try the other.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly warned that e-cigarette use among young Americans has reached “epidemic” proportions.
To read the full results of the Angus Reid Institutes survey, click here.
With Files from the Canadian Press.