Teens vape four times more than adults

Teens vape four times more than adults


The electronic cigarette is certainly popular with teenagers, who even vape four times more than the adult population of Quebec.

This is one of the conclusions of the Quebec Survey on Tobacco and Vaping Products, conducted for the first time by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) among Quebecers aged 15  and more in 2020.

This sounding highlights in particular the gap between young and old regarding the use of electronic cigarettes.

We learn that 18 % of 15-17 year-olds vape, a proportion that is only 4 % when all the age groups surveyed are taken into account. 

The proportion of vapers among 18-24 year olds is also high, at 15%.

The pandemic does not seem to have dampened the enthusiasm of young vapers. 

“It could have helped to change trends, but what we see is that the vaping seems to have remained at fairly high levels, particularly among 15-24 year-olds,” says the study's lead author, Benoit Lasnier.

The proportion of young people who vape is comparable to other data obtained previously, he says.

Reasons vary by age

Reasons for turning to e-cigarettes vary greatly by generation, he adds. 

“&nbsp ;Among young people, it is mainly out of curiosity or to be like friends, while among adults, it is much more smokers who use the product in an attempt to quit smoking, explains M. Lasnier .

“It's rare for non-smoking adults to learn about vaping products,” he adds.

In 2020, the proportion of teenagers who used vaping products with a high concentration of nicotine (above 20 mg/ml) was also very high, at 82 %.

However, since 2021, the maximum concentration of nicotine authorized in these products is limited to 20 mg/ml.

” This result shows us that the regulations really intervened at an opportune moment, because it was an emerging problem among young people ,” says Mr. Lasnier, who recalls that the consumption of products with a high concentration of nicotine promotes the rapid development of addiction.

Addiction and health risks

Among 15-24 year olds, nearly half do not incidentally considers himself “not at all” as being addicted to vaping, a proportion which subsequently decreases among those aged 25 and over. 

The youngest are also less likely to consider that the use of electronic cigarettes with nicotine presents a high health risk. 

Vaping by age

  • 15-17 years: 18%
  • 18-24 years: 15 %
  • 25-34 years: 5 %
  • 35- 64 years old: 2.4 %
  • All 15-64 year olds: 4 %

Source: Quebec Survey on Tobacco and Vaping Products 2020, National Institute of Public Health of Quebec