Alarming Number of Canadian High School Students Smoking Nicotine-Containing Vapes

Alarming Number of Canadian High School Students Smoking Nicotine-Containing Vapes

A recent study conducted by Jamie Seabrook of Brescia University College and Evan R. Wiley of Western University has revealed that a large number of Canadian high school students are smoking vapes containing nicotine. The study shows that 26% of high school students in Canada reported having vaped in the previous month, which is a significant cause for concern. What is even more worrying is that the students are inhaling vapes or e-cigarettes that contain nicotine.

The Study's Findings

The research conducted by Seabrook and Wiley found that 12% of high school students reported exclusively smoking vapes containing nicotine in the previous month. Meanwhile, 11.3% reported using both nicotine and nicotine-free vapes, and a small 2.5% exclusively used nicotine-free vapes.

Vapes were initially marketed as a potential solution to tobacco smoking, with claims that they could be a less harmful alternative. However, the long-term effects of vaping on physical and mental health are still not entirely understood. The study shows that vapes are exposing young people to nicotine, putting them at risk of nicotine addiction.

The study, published in the journal Children, was based on a national survey of 38,299 students in grades 9 to 12. It explored the prevalence of past-month nicotine vaping, nicotine-free vaping, and dual-use vaping, with correlations to sociodemographic and health-related differences among high school students.

Gender Differences in Vaping

The research revealed that male high school students had higher odds of being in each category of past-month vape users than females. Substance use was also linked to higher odds of students vaping with and without nicotine.

Grade Differences in Vaping

The study found that grade 10 and 11 students were more likely than grade 9 students to vape exclusively with nicotine. Meanwhile, grade 9 students were more likely than grade 11 and 12 students to vape with both nicotine and nicotine-free vapes.

Dual-Use Vaping and Transitioning to High School

Seabrook points out that the higher likelihood of dual-use vaping among grade 9 students warrants further investigation, as it may be related to behavioral and cultural pressures associated with transitioning to high school. It could also mean that with age, more high school students are transitioning from dual-use vaping to exclusive nicotine vaping.

"Since this was a cross-sectional analysis and we studied all the different age groups at the same time, we could not establish that dual vaping is leading to an increase in exclusive nicotine vaping. Our findings do show that there is a possibility, but it needs careful investigation," said Seabrook.


The study's findings are alarming, showing that a significant number of Canadian high school students are smoking vapes containing nicotine. Vaping was initially marketed as a less harmful alternative to tobacco smoking, but it is now clear that vapes are exposing young people to nicotine and putting them at risk of addiction. The study's authors suggest that policy-makers should implement more targeted interventions to tackle this issue.


  1. What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or other vaping devices.

  1. What are the health risks of vaping?

The long-term health risks of vaping are not yet fully understood, but studies have shown that vaping can have harmful effects on the respiratory system and can lead to nicotine addiction.

  1. Why do young people vape?

Young people may vape for various reasons, including peer pressure, curiosity, or a perceived lack of harm associated with vaping compared to smoking.

  1. What can be done to prevent young people from vaping?

Education campaigns that highlight the risks associated with vaping, as well as restrictions on the marketing and sale of vaping products to young people, can help prevent young people from vaping.

  1. Is vaping illegal for minors in Canada?

Yes, the sale and use of vaping products are illegal for minors in Canada.