Submission on youth vaping data – and the importance of not over-reacting

March 2019: Canada
Consultation Response

Health Canada consultation: here

My submission: here

Conclusion. Headline increases in youth vaping prevalence demand a nuanced analysis that makes meaningful distinctions between experimental use and regular or daily use, and drills down into the smoking behaviours of the regular users.  It is likely that the more intensive vapers are also smokers and will derive benefits from vaping.  While a political concern in response to increased teenage vaping prevalence is inevitable, it is important to ensure that reaction is based on facts, effectively addresses risks and benefits of policy changes, and has a strong rationale in public health terms.  The overwhelming cause of nicotine or tobacco-related harm is from smoking and policymakers should consider the interactions between smoking and vaping in both adults and adolescents.  Excessively risk-averse policies towards vaping may trigger unintended consequences that would harm both adults and adolescents by obstructing migration from smoking to vaping. Policymakers should consider these issues when responding to increases in youth vaping prevalence.

David Sweanor’s submission: Constraining alternatives to cigarette smoking

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