Across Canada 18 per cent of high school students report using e-cigarettes at least once in their lifetime, and 6 per cent report use in the past 30-days. This from a recently published study from the 2014/2015 Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey.
Rates of e-cigarette use are substantially higher among smokers than among students who have never tried smoking. Current cigarette smokers are ten times more likely than students who have never tried smoking to have recently used e-cigarettes. Among students who have never tried smoking less than 2 per cent had used e-cigarettes in the past 30-days, compared to 47 per cent of current smokers.
Males, students who perceive access to e-cigarettes is easy and those who believe regular use is not harmful are also more likely than others to have recently used e-cigarettes.
Large differences in rates of e-cigarette use were observed across provinces, with the lowest rates found in Ontario and Alberta, and the highest in Newfoundland and Labrador. Since these data were collected, many provinces have enacted legislation banning e-cigarette sales to minors, prohibiting advertising and promotion, and banning use where smoking is banned.
This study is the first to report use of e-cigarettes among a representative sample of youth who attend middle or high school across Canada. The Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey is conducted by the Propel Centre.
The study was recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal Open.