Health effects of vaping

The e-liquid used in vaping products contains chemicals that evidence is demonstrating have negative health effects.

Vaping products contain an e-liquid that is vapourized, and then inhaled by users.This e-liquid contains a variety of chemicals and the long-term risks of inhaling these chemicals are still being studied. Research has begun to demonstrate negative effects on both the lung and heart.

The process of heating e-liquid produces additional chemicals also under investigation to determine potential risks to health.

The carrier solvent for the e-juice is typically propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine. The health implications and safety of inhaling these substances are not yet understood.

Most vaping products contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance.

Similarly to the chemicals found in e-liquid vapour, the long-term health effects of inhaling vaporized nicotine are not yet understood.

Levels of nicotine in vaping products vary significantly.

Whereas nicotine-containing products (e.g. nicotine patches) that carry a smoking cessation claim contain standardized/regulated nicotine levels, levels in vaping product e-liquids can vary significantly. Nicotine content in vVaping products are not yet regulated.

Especially susceptible to nicotine’s health risks are young children, youth, and pregnant women.

We strongly advise these populations avoid using vaping products.

Nicotine can alter fetal development in pregnant women and brain development in young people.

Youth and young adults can become addicted to nicotine much more easily. There is also evidence use of vaping products with nicotine by youth can lead to addiction to other tobacco products.

Many vaping products contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

THC is linked to the majority of cases of vaping-related lung illness by the US Centre for Disease Control.  

Vitamin E acetate is believed a likely contributor to recently reported THC-related vaping illness. 

While safe for use topically, or to ingest as a supplement, inhalation of vitamin E acetate can interfere with normal lung function. E-cigarettes also contains chemicals suspected or known to cause cancer.

Research indicates people who vape may be at a higher risk of heart disease.

Using vaping products is shown to increase heart rate and potentially damage the lining of the arteries, causing blood vessels to stiffen. Research already exists linking nicotine use to heart disease in people who smoke.

There are risks associated with breathing in second-hand vapour.

Vaping products produce particulate matter that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause cardiovascular damage.  It is important to be cautious using vaping products around non-users, especially youth or pregnant women who are most susceptible to related health risks.  

Finally, most vaping products use lithium-ion batteries that can explode and cause fire and injury.

It is vital vaping product batteries be properly used, stored, carried or charged. Serious injuries have occurred due to battery malfunctions. If you notice a safety problem related to a vaping product, report the problem to the manufacturer or Health Canada.

Page Last Updated: 15/11/2019