Pediatricians in Canada are warning against youth vaping as a means to quit smoking.
OTTAWA — The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has released a new recommendation to pediatricians urging against the referral of electronic cigarettes as a means for youth to quit smoking and using other more harmful means of tobacco and nicotine delivery.
“Youth vaping presents significant risks for the health and safety of Canadian children and adolescents,” notes the CPS medical recommendation published on April 14. “Youth vaping is associated with increased risk for tobacco and other substance use, mental health problems, pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, and unintentional injuries.”
The experts that authored the recommendation are Nicholas Chadi, Ellie Vyver, Richard E Bélanger of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Adolescent Health Committee.
“Vaping should not be used as a smoking cessation tool for youth, due to lack of effectiveness and evidence of harm,” argues Chadi et al. “Many preventive and treatment strategies used for tobacco cessation, including behavioral and pharmacological options, can be adapted to help youth quit vaping.”
According to the recommendations, CPS recognizes the need for nicotine replacement therapies and other medications that could offer a means to counter cigarette addiction.
Counter to other commonwealth health organizations, CPS also maintains that adults that use electronic cigarettes are at a similar degree of risk and that vaping should be at least more restricted from an approach like the tobacco control regime in the United States.
However, CPS also recognizes some of the benefits of vaping for helping adults quit smoking. Public Health England, for instance, has determined that regulated electronic cigarettes are 95 percent safer than traditional cigarette smoking.
“What we’re seeing is that e-cigarettes, or vapes, have become popular with teens – the majority of whom did not previously smoke cigarettes,” Chadi said in a news release sent to CTV News and other outlets. “We’re at risk of losing the progress made in reducing rates of teen smoking and seeing a new generation of youth addicted to nicotine.”
“Regulations at all levels of government have significantly reduced tobacco smoking,” notes the recommendation document.