Health info for youth

When you vape, you are inhaling an aerosol that contains various substances. Some things to think about: 

Nicotine Dependence:

Here’s what we know about the health effects of nicotine:

  • nicotine is highly addictive
  • children and youth are more likely to develop a nicotine dependence, even with limited exposure
  • nicotine:
    • can affect memory and concentration;
    • can alter brain development especially in children and youth; and
    • may reduce impulse control; and cause cognitive and behavioural problems in children and youth.

Nicotine and Wellbeing:

Many young people in BC say they vape to help with their mental health – improve their mood, reduce stress and anxiety. The truth is nicotine in vapour products can aggravate symptoms of depression and anxiety – and nicotine is in all legally sold vapour products in BC.

If you or someone you care about could be in need of mental health supports, visit

Chemical Exposure:

In addition to nicotine, vaping liquids typically contain glycerol (vegetable glycerin) and propylene glycol, and chemicals used for flavouring. The number of chemical ingredients used in vaping liquids varies. Research by Health Canada detected an average of 22 chemicals and roughly nine flavouring chemicals in Canadian vaping products.

At high temperatures, PG and glycerol break apart to form new chemicals called carbonyl compounds, also known as aldehydes (e.g. formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, etc.). And, contaminants such as nickel, tin and aluminum might also get into the aerosol as the metal heating element ages.

Lung Health:

The most common types of side effects reported by people who use vaping products are throat and mouth irritation, headache, cough, and nausea.

If you vape, watch for signs of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. These may be signs of lung damage. If you are experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention.

It is difficult to assess the exact impacts of vaping on human health because 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
  • the ingredients and quality
  • individual vaping patterns

If you choose to vape, learn the risk and possible health impacts.

Find out more

Health Canada: Risks of Vaping

Health Canada: About Vaping

HealthLink BC: Vaping