Article by Ben Cousins, CTV New
Doctors should not suggest vaping to help youth and adolescents quit smoking, according to new guidance from Canadian pediatricians.
The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) recommended on Wednesday that vaping “should not be used as a smoking cessation or harm reduction strategy” in youth, saying that doctors should instead “assess their patient’s motivation to reduce or quit vaping” and come up with a plan to do so.
“Health care providers should address vaping with every adolescent they see, starting at 12 years old,” Dr. Nicholas Chadi, the lead author of the CPS statement and an adolescent medicine and addictions specialist at CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal, said in a news release. “The earlier a youth begins using nicotine or cannabis, the greater their risk for developing a substance use disorder in the future.”
While vaping is often considered the safer alternative to smoking, there are still several health risks with these products.
According to Health Canada, vaping can lead to nicotine addiction, particularly in children and teenagers. Nicotine dependency is known to alter brain development in teenagers and can affect memory and concentration.