Schools across the province have been grappling with vaping for several years now. At Selkirk Secondary School in Kimberley, vaping is not allowed on school property, but that doesn’t mean that students aren’t vaping.
Recently, Selkirk administration sent a newsletter to parents with a link to the British Columbia Lung Association’s vaping prevention toolkit, which provides a lot of valuable information.
The Lung Association says that vaping has reached epidemic levels. The toolkit, parts of which are meant to be posted in classrooms, while other parts speak directly to parents and educators, provides vaping information in a graphic-heavy format to catch the eye. The overall message is that vaping is not harmless.
It provides information on a number of misconceptions about vaping. For instance, a common misconception is that the aerosol is only a water vapour. Not true. Once the e-juice (most of which is already laced with nicotine), is heated, a number of chemicals are created, including heavy metals (also found in lead based paints); carbonyls (embalming liquid); volatile organic compounds (gasoline), tobacco-specific nitrosamines (cigarettes), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (vehicle exhaust); and tiny particles such as found in wildfire smoke.
The Lung Association says that for people who do smoke, vaping may be a slightly less harmful alternative because for all the toxins that vaping carries, they are less than found in a cigarette. However, given the potential and unknown harms of vaping products, people who do not smoke, should not vape.
“Vaping products do have an impact on health. The toxic chemicals in the aerosol lead to short-term respiratory and cardiovascular health effects, and may cause cancer.”
Children and adults have been poisoned by swelling the e-juice or absorbing it through their skin.
Long term effects continue to be studied.
You can access the entire toolkit at https://bc.lung.ca/vaping-toolkit