Skip Navigation

Vapes and Vaping


Vapourizers are battery-operated devices that change a liquid chemical (e-liquid) into a vapour that is inhaled. They can resemble pens, USB sticks, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and everyday items. The act of using a vapourizer is called “vaping.” They are also known as vapes, e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-hookahs, vape pens, mods, tank systems and electronic nicotine delivery systems

Public Health concerns with vaping

  • Any product containing nicotine is addictive.
  • There is limited research on the safety and long-term health effects.
  • Vapes produce an aerosol with harmful chemicals (external link), not just harmless water vapour.
  • Vapes are not a proven aid to quit smoking. Learn more about quit smoking supports available.
  • Vapes have become very popular among teenagers and young adults, especially among non-tobacco users.

Facts about youth and vaping

  • In 2017, 11 per cent of Ontario youth in grades 7 to 12 reported using e-cigarettes OSDHUS (external PDF).
  • Nicotine products are unsafe for youth, whose developing brains are more vulnerable to addiction.
  • Nicotine use at a young age can make it harder to learn, concentrate or control impulses.

For curriculum support and resources on vaping for schools, contact the school years program at the Halton Region Health Department:

How to talk to youth about vaping

  • Know the facts. Educate yourself about vaping so you can talk about it.
  • Help your kids plan ahead for social situations where vaping will most likely be offered. Talk about how to avoid use and say no.
  • Encourage open conversations. This may be many small conversations over time. Try to find a natural time to discuss vaping, for example when you see someone using vaping products.
  • Ask your kids if they are vaping. Be patient, ready to listen and avoid criticizing.
  • Ask for support if needed from a health care provider or another trusted adult.
  • Be a positive role model; don’t use tobacco or vaporizing products.

Talking with Your Teen About Vaping: A Tip Sheet for Parents (external PDF)

Vaping and the law

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act does not allow:

  • vaping of any substance (including medical cannabis) in any enclosed workplace, any enclosed public place or any other places designated as vape-free in the Act;
  • the sale and supply of vapour products to anyone under 19 years of age (including e-liquid as well as all associated components);
  • vaping when a person under the age of 16 is in a motor vehicle; and
  • those under the age of 19 to enter specialty vape stores.

Electronic smoking unit with refillable cartridge and e-liquid.
Electronic smoking unit with refillable cartridge and e-liquid.