Researchers at the University of Waterloo conducted a study to find the rates of vaping and smoking in Canada, the U.S. and England among youth aged 16 to 19.
The study, “Prevalence of vaping and smoking among adolescents in Canada, England, and the United States: repeat national cross-sectional surveys,” was authored by David Hammond and appears in the British Medical Journal. The study found that between 2017 and 2018, there was a hike of 5 per cent in users of e-cigarettes in Canada and 8 per cent in the U.S. within the last 30 days. In England, there were no significant changes to the rates.
The reason for this rise has been attributed to a new generation of e-cigarettes which contain higher levels of nicotine.
“Prior to 2017, many youths were experimenting with e-cigarettes, but it was very hard to find regular users,” David Hammond, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at Waterloo said. “In 2018, not only were more youth in Canada and the U.S. trying e-cigarettes, but there was also a shift toward more frequent use.”
Among the other findings of the study was the fact that users of the JUUL brand of vaping device rose significantly in the month of August 2018. In Canada the rise was reported to be 10 percent whilst in the U.S. the users of JUUL tripled in number over the same time period.
“E-cigarettes have the potential to help adult smokers to quit; however, e-cigarettes need to be targeted more effectively at adult smokers to avoid creating a new generation of nicotine users,” Hammond said. “We have yet to achieve the optimal regulatory balance, and the findings support urgent action to reduce youth vaping – including greater restrictions on advertising and youth access.”
More than 24000 youth between the ages of 16 and 19 were surveyed as a part of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC) Youth Tobacco and Vaping Survey.