Try the new Beta.Halton.ca

2016 Electronic Cigarette Use Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

The purpose of this health indicator report is to provide information about electronic cigarette use among adults aged 18 and over living in Halton Region.

Background

Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices which mimic the smoking experience using an inhalation process that heats and vapourizes the e-liquid inside. This is often referred to as “vaping”. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, however, most of the e-liquids have nicotine, which is the addictive substance found in cigarettes and other tobacco products. Globally, and in Ontario, e-cigarette use is becoming increasingly population, especially among young adults aged 18-24.

Evidence of potential health effects is sufficient to suggest that non-smokers should not use electronic cigarettes.Some smokers using certain kinds of e-cigarettes in certain ways may quit smoking. While e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco, it doesn't mean they are safe. More research is needed to determine long-term health effects for users and those exposed to second-hand vapor as well as the potential role for helping smokers quit.

The current Electronic Cigarettes Act bans the sale and supply of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19. There is currently provincial legislation drafted that restricts where e-cigarettes can be used. This updated act is scheduled to be enacted in 2018. The Halton Region Health Department is responsible for enforcing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Electronic Cigarettes Act. For more information visit the Halton e-cigarette webpage.

This health indicator report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

  • In 2016, 8% of Halton adults reported having ever used an e-cigarette, 5% reported having used an e-cigarette in the past year, and 2% reported having used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.

Sex

  • In 2016, Halton males were more likely than females to report having ever used an e-cigarette, and this difference was statistically significant.

Age

  • In 2016, e-cigarette use among Halton adults decreased as age increased. These differences were statistically significant when comparing aged 18-24 and 25-44 to ages 45-64.

Municipality

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported having ever used an e-cigarette.

Income

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported having ever used an e-cigarette.

Education

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported having ever used an e-cigarette.

Reasons for Use

  • In 2016, among Halton adults who reported having ever used an e-cigarette, the top three reasons for using e-cigarettes were:
    1. To help while trying to quit smoking (43%)
    2. Curiosity (35%)
    3. To help cut back on the amount of cigarettes smoked (12%)
  • Other reasons for use included that they were recommended to them by someone, that they thought they were safer than cigarettes, and to use in places where cigarettes were not allowed.

Smoking Status & E-Cigarette Use

  • In 2016, the percentage of Halton adults who reported having ever used an e-cigarette varied by smoking status. As smoking frequency decreased from current smoker to never smoker, the percentage of adults who reported having ever used an e-cigarette decreased. These differences were all statistically significant.

Order of Trial

  • In 2016, 98% of Halton adults who had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and had ever tried an e-cigarette reported that they tried smoking a cigarette first before trying an e-cigarette.