Health info for adults

While vaping increases exposure to chemicals that could harm your health (e.g. cause lung damage), it also exposes you to nicotine, which is highly addictive.

If you are a smoker, vaping is a less harmful option than smoking, but it is not harmless. For this reason, people who want to quit smoking should consider safe and effective ways to quit, such as combining coaching and nicotine-replacement therapies. These services are free of charge for residents of B.C. (For more information, see QuitNow.ca).

When you vape, you are inhaling an aerosol that contains various substances.

Many vaping liquids contain nicotine. Along with nicotine, vaping liquid contains other chemicals.

Diacetyl is a flavouring chemical used to give a butter-like flavour to food products and vaping products. Exposure to this chemical has been known to cause workers in popcorn plants to develop ‘popcorn lung,’ a chronic disease that damages the small airways in the lung.

Vegetable glycerine & propylene glycol are the main liquids found in vaping products. They are found in many food products as sweeteners and in cosmetics. The safety of inhaling these products during the vaping process is not known.

The process of heating these substances to produce the vapour may also produce new chemicals, such as formaldehydes. Contaminants such as nickel, tin and aluminum might also get into the products.

While vaping liquids contain less chemicals than tobacco products, exposure to the chemicals and contaminants varies depending on:

  • the vapour liquid itself
  • the settings of the device
  • the power level
  • the amount of nicotine

Since vaping is relatively new, we don’t know yet what the health risks might be for people who vape over a long period of time. Acknowledging the long-term risks are unknown is not the same as saying there are no risks.

Find out more

Health Canada: Risks of Vaping 

Quick Tips - Lower Risk Nicotine Use Guidelines  - This resource offers practical tips to help people make informed decisions about the types of nicotine they use and the health effects associated with the different products, including smokeless tobacco (chew), water-pipes, and e-cigarettes.

QuitNow.ca – free help to quit smoking and vaping, for British Columbians of all ages

VGH Smoking Cessation Clinic – virtual and in-person treatment for smoking and vaping, by self-referral or doctor referral

PharmaCare BC Smoking Cessation Program – coverage for nicotine-replacement therapies and prescription medications

HealthLink BC (HealthLink/ 811: vaping)