Numerous studies across North America show that vaping is on the rise among teenage students. There is a good chance that your child has been or will be exposed to vaping and e-cigarette products. As a parent/guardian, you play an important role in helping your child make informed decisions. This resource will provide you with need-to-know information about vaping so that you are better prepared to talk with your child.

Download Vaping Information Sheet (PDF)

  • Vaping
  • Risks
  • Talk
  • Schools
  • Law
  • Resources

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by a vaping product, such as an electronic cigarette. Vaping doesn’t require burning like cigarette smoking. The device heats a liquid into a vapour, which then turns into an aerosol. This vapour is often flavoured and may contain nicotine. Cannabis can also be consumed by vaping (breathing in dried cannabis or liquid cannabis vapours).

Vaping devices are usually battery-powered and may have removable parts. Vaping products have many names: mods, vapes, sub-ohms, vape pens, e-hookahs, tank systems, electronic cigarettes, and e-cigarettes. Most vaping devices consist of a battery, mouthpiece, heating element, and a chamber (tank or reservoir to contain a liquid solution). Vaping products may be difficult to recognize or detect. Devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some resembling a USB flash drive. Vaping may not leave a lingering identifiable smell.

Sources: Health Canada, Government of Manitoba

Know the Health Risks

Vaping is not safe. According to Health Canada, children and youth are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of nicotine, including addiction. They may become dependent on nicotine with lower levels of exposure than adults. Nicotine can affect memory, concentration, and is known to alter brain development. Vaping may also result in lung damage. There is no burning during vaping but the vaping process needs the liquid to be heated. This can create new chemicals such as formaldehyde. Some contaminants (e.g. nickel, tin, and aluminum) might also get into the vaping products and then into the vapour.

The ingredients typically found in vaping liquids include glycerol, flavours, and propylene glycol. The long-term safety of inhaling these substances in vaping products is unknown and continues to be assessed. The Government of Canada is investigating the emergence of severe lung illness related to vaping. Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health. Youth, persons who are pregnant, and those who do not currently vape should not vape.

Sources: Health Canada, Government of Manitoba

Start the Conversation

It’s never too late to start the conversation with your child. This can be a casual conversation in the car or at the dinner table. Discuss the facts and correct any misconceptions, but be patient and engage in dialogue. Teenagers are more likely to be honest and keep the conversation going if they feel heard and respected. Don’t expect to have just one conversation with your child. You will probably need to discuss the subject many times and in different places.

Vape-Free Schools

Hanover School Division recognizes its responsibility to promote a healthy lifestyle and ensure a smoke, tobacco, and vape-free environment for the health and welfare of students, staff, and visitors. All schools in the Hanover School Division are vape-free.

Vaping is not permitted in schools or on school property. Students caught vaping in the school or on school grounds are in violation of Manitoba law and are in breach of student conduct rules. Consequences of such actions may include but are not limited to; confiscation of the vape, disciplinary meeting, and suspension from school.

Students who are suspended for an alcohol/drug policy violation, or students who voluntarily request help for their substance use, are referred to an AFM Counsellor for assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to gather information that will help the counsellor and the student set goals (make an action plan based on the young person’s needs). Following the assessment, the student may continue to receive counselling on an ongoing basis. Contact the Student Services Department at 204-326-9829 for more details.

Vaping and the Law

Canada – The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) became law in Canada on May 23, 2018. Although the federal government now regulates vaping products sold in Canada, it is still illegal for vaping products to be sold or given to anyone under 18 years of age.

Manitoba – Effective October 1, 2017, The Non-Smokers Health Protection Act (NSHPA) restricts youth access to vapour (“vape”) products. The Act also places restrictions on the display, advertising and use of vapour products, similar to the restrictions currently in place for tobacco products.