AHS Weekly Wellness: Are You Vaping, or Know Someone Who Is?

Vapes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that have cartridges with liquid chemicals in them. Heat from a battery-powered atomizer turns the chemicals into an aerosol mist that is inhaled by the user (a process called vaping.)

Sometimes vaping devices are called vape pens, e-hookahs, mods, sub-ohms and tank systems.

Whatever you call it, vaping is dangerous. It can cause lung damage.

Vaping with nicotine can lead to addiction. It may also cause brain and behaviour problems in teens. It can negatively affect memory and concentration, too.

What is in vaping liquid?

Propylene glycol, a man-made product used in antifreeze and theatre fog, is a common ingredient in vaping liquids. Glycerin and flavours with nicotine are also common.

Although these flavours may seem harmless, they may actually make the products more harmful. The long-term effects of inhaling these substances is not yet known.

Metals such as nickel, cadmium and mercury have been found in vaping liquids.

Tests have also found that most vaping liquids have nicotine in them, even though they may be labelled and sold as “nicotine-free.” Nicotine is poisonous, especially to young children or pets, if swallowed or absorbed through the skin.

If you need help quitting:

Alberta Health Services gives support and information for people interested in quitting vaping or other forms of smoking. Call or text AlbertaQuits at 1-866-710-QUIT (7848) or visit www.albertaquits.ca.