Number of Canadians who say vaping does more harm than good nearly doubles

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds a significant shift in Canadian views on vaping, as more evidence emerges that the trend may be more harmful than anticipated. Indeed, the number of Canadians saying vaping does more harm than good has nearly doubled in the past year, rising from 35 per cent just last year, to 62 per cent.

Over the last year, there have been thousands of injuries and more than 50 deaths reported in the United States related to vaping. Fourteen such cases have been reported in Canada.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, as familiarity with vaping and use of vaping products has grown, so too has concern about children’s access to them.

One-in-five parents with children under 19 (17%) are aware of their children vaping, and 92 per cent of these parents say they consider it harmful. Health Canada recently announced an expansion of its testing capabilities to better understand cannabis vaping products already available in the market.

Other findings reveal massive support for restrictions related to advertisements in this sector. Nine-in-10 Canadians (90%) say it would be a good idea to ban advertising of vaping products in areas that young people frequent – such as bus shelters, parks, and areas around schools, while four-in-five (82%) would like to see the sale of flavoured vaping products restricted to adult-only stores. Notably, the federal government announced in December that it would implement a ban on promotions of vaping products in areas where youth will see them, including on social media, but would not move forward with regulations on flavours at this time.

More Key Findings:

  • Half of Canadians (46%) would like to see vaping products banned entirely, as has been done in Massachusetts, while one-in-three say this would be a step too far (33%)
  • Higher support is found for banning flavoured vaping products. Six-in-10 say (60%) say this would be a good idea, while one-quarter (23%) disagree
  • One-in-four Canadians (25%) now say they have vaped, up from 18 per cent in 2018, and just nine per cent in 2013