Vapourizers are battery-operated devices that change a liquid chemical (e-liquid) into a vapour that is inhaled. They can resemble pens, USB sticks, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and everyday items. Due to this, vaping may go unnoticed in schools, around the community, even at home. The act of using a vapourizer is called “vaping.” They are also known as vapes, e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-hookahs, vape pens, mods, tank systems and electronic nicotine delivery systems.
Youth think that vaping is harmless, they think it’s only flavoured water. It is not! They don’t know that e-liquid contains many chemicals including nickel, tin, lead, nicotine and cancer-causing agents. Inhaling these chemicals can have negative health effects, particularly on children.
There are currently no regulations for e-liquid therefore making it difficult to know exactly what’s in it. So you don’t really know what you’re inhaling! Nicotine is unsafe for youth as their brains are still developing and it makes them more vulnerable to addiction. Nicotine use at a young age can also make it harder to learn, concentrate or control impulses.
Tips to help you talk to your children:
- Know the facts. Educate yourself so you can talk about it. Learn more here: Halton Region – Vapes and Vaping;
- Help your children plan ahead for social situations as this is where vaping is most likely to be offered. Talk about how to avoid use and say no;
- Encourage open conversations. This may be many small conversations over time. Try to find time to discuss vaping, for example when you see someone using vaping products;
- Ask your kids if they are vaping. Be patient, ready to listen and avoid criticizing;
- Ask for support if needed from a health care provider or another trusted adult;
- Be a positive role model, don’t use tobacco or vapourizing products;
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, prohibits the smoking of tobacco, the use of electronic cigarettes to vape any substance, and the smoking of cannabis in workplaces and enclosed public spaces. As such, smoking and vaping is not allowed in schools, including the grounds associated with the school, and public areas within 20 metres of any point of the grounds of the school.
The Halton Catholic District School Board supports the use of suspension and/or expulsion as outlined in Part XIII of the Education Act where a pupil has committed infractions, including smoking and vaping, on school property, during a school-related activity or event, and/or in circumstances where the infraction has an impact on the school climate.