Alliance aims to break 'perception that e-cigarettes are harmless'

People, particularly young people, don't understand the risks of vaping, says the P.E.I. Tobacco Reduction Alliance, and it has launched an education campaign to change that.

More than a quarter of P.E.I. high school students have used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days, study finds

Vaping can be particularly harmful for young people, says the P.E.I. Lung Association. (CBC)

People, particularly young people, don't understand the risks of vaping, says the P.E.I. Tobacco Reduction Alliance, and it has launched an education campaign to change that.

Julia Hartley, co-ordinator of the P.E.I. Lung Association, a member of the alliance, said vaping dangers include toxic chemicals such as metals and flavourings, as well as ultra-fine particles.

"Ultra-fine particles can really harm your lungs over time," said Hartley.

"I don't think that the potential risks of these products are well understood in general. There is a perception that e-cigarettes are harmless, and they just contain flavoured water vapour."

In addition to the well understood risks, there are the less-understood issues associated with the high amounts of nicotine in some vape pods, which can contain the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.

Vaping does not just produce harmless water vapour, says Julia Hartley. (CBC)

Nicotine is particularly problematic for young people, whose brains are still developing, she said.

A federal government study this fall found that 26 per cent of P.E.I. high school students had vaped in the previous month.

The vaping education campaign launched Monday as part of National Non-Smoking Week.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning and CBC News: Compass

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