Study determines an ‘alarming rate’ of e-cigarette use among young Ontarians
Niagara Falls, Ontario – July 20, 2016: For 39 years, Heart Niagara has been committed to delivering community-based health services, public education and health promotion.
In 1987, the non-profit organization established the Healthy Heart Schools’ Program. The program works with local schools to deliver lifesaving and disease prevention education to students in Grades 5, 7 and 9.
During the 2013-2014 school year, Heart Niagara surveyed over 2,000 Grade 9 students within the Healthy Heart Schools’ Program about their smoking and vaping habits. The students were asked about their e-cigarette use, including why they tried them and how often they used them.
Information was collected for a research study in collaboration with The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto. The goal was to evaluate the frequency, motivations and associated factors for e-cigarette use among adolescents in Ontario.
Published on Monday, July 18th in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the study indicated that 10 percent of respondents said they had tried an e-cigarette and the majority of those kids, 56 percent, had only tried it once. Nearly 25 percent said they learned about them from a store display or advertisement.
Dr. Michael Khoury, who led the research study made this statement in The Globe and Mail newspaper, “It’s quite an alarming rate,” he said. “This is a new public health issue that really needs to be addressed.”
While e-cigarettes are frequently used as devices for smoking cessation in adults, the study found that most students in survey were motivated to try e-cigarettes by their novelty and “coolness.”
Heart Niagara’s nurse practitioner, Don Gibson, who counsels smokers and contributed to the study said, “There’s no reason for youth or any nonsmokers to be using e-cigarettes. It’s not a good idea to provide vulnerable individuals with a more appealing way to become addicted to smoking.”
To date, Heart Niagara has contributed to 39 studies utilizing the Healthy Heart Schools’ Program’s data and is a major supporter of prevention research.
To view the study titled, Reported electronic cigarette use among adolescents in the Niagara region of Ontario, visit cmaj.ca.
For further information please contact:
Karen Stearne, Executive Director
Heart Niagara Inc.
Phone: 905-358-5552, Ext. 107
For 39 years, Heart Niagara has been providing cardiac health education and services to the region on a non-profit level, relying on the generosity of the community to support its programs.