There is limited evidence surrounding the safety of ‘vaping’. Vaping devices, also commonly called e-cigarettes, are devices that heat liquid solutions to the point of vaporization. This vapour, which condenses into an aerosol, is then inhaled by the user through a mouthpiece, travels through the respiratory tract, and is absorbed into the bloodstream (as seen here).
While vaping is legal in B.C, the sale and consumption of vaping products is subject to legislation that regulates tobacco use (e.g. prohibits the sale of products to minors and smoking near doorways or air intakes).
Research suggests that emissions from vaping devices could be harmful to the user as well as nearby non-users. The e-liquid and aerosol contain propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, as well as potentially harmful substances such as:
- Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Diacetyl, a chemical found in flavourings, that can lead to “popcorn lung disease”
- Volatile organic compounds
- Cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, created during the process of vaping
- Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis
- Vitamin E acetate, a filler ingredient in some THC vapes that has been linked to the outbreak of lung illness in the United States
- Nicotine, an addictive substance