How many students are using these products?
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In Ontario, 11% of students in grades 7 to 12 report using more than just a few puffs of an electronic cigarette, with or without nicotine in the past year (OSDUHS, 2017). Males are more likely than females to use electronic cigarettes. Among the grades, students in the 11th and 12th grades are most likely to use.
Specifically, in Windsor-Essex, 6% of grade 9 to 12 students are current smokers, and 26% of students have used an e-cigarette (COMPASS, 2018). Males (7%) are more likely than females (4%) to smoke in WEC (COMPASS, 2018).
The Canadian Cancer Society released a statement in the summer of 2019 raising concern over the dramatic increase in youth vaping behaviors. The University of Waterloo found that vaping increased by 74% among 16 to 19 year olds in just one year. It is unclear if this trend will continue at this rapid rate, but it is a large concern for this age group.
It’s important to note that while the rates of cigarette smoking had reached an all-time low, this is accompanied by rapidly rising rates of vaping and e-cigarette use (Health Canada, 2019). Electronic cigarettes are the lowest ranked behavior in terms of perceived risk by secondary school aged youth (OSDUHS, 2017).