Home / Op-Ed / Let’s ban vaping

Let’s ban vaping

Author: elisabeth sahlmueller | contributor
Vaping

Smoking is an extremely disgusting habit.

Smoking results in bad breath and people litter cigarettes filled with cancer-causing chemicals and butts all over the ground. Recently, a new form of smoking, known as vaping, has gained popularity, especially among a very young crowd. Vaping is done with a vape (e-cigarette), a small tube full of liquid and flavour that turns into vapour, which is inhaled. Ontario has become the first Canadian province to pass legislation prohibiting vaping in all areas where cigarette smoking is also banned. Although this has raised a lot of controversy, it has encouraged other Canadian provinces to consider placing restrictions on vaping as well and Saskatchewan is one of these provinces. Honestly, I find any type of smoking irritating and I would like to see a Saskatchewan-wide ban established, just like the one in Ontario.

Even though some people believe that vaping can be an effective way to quit smoking cigarettes, this isn’t exactly the case. As Donna Pasiechnik, the Tobacco Control Manager with the Saskatchewan Division of the Canadian Cancer Society states, “For every study that says e-cigs can help people quit, there is another study that says they won’t and can actually hinder a person’s ability to quit.” Other methods exist to help smokers quit, such as lozenges, patches, and sprays which are more effective and better for an individual’s health in the long-term.

Although many people wouldn’t believe inhaling flavoured vapour could have a damaging effect, various health problems do occur with vaping. One problem is throat and nose irritation, caused by the chemicals such as formaldehyde and propylene glycol, which are part of the vapour. Brochiolitis Obliterans, known as damaged lungs, have also been traced as a health effect. A third major health problem associated with vaping is a potential nicotine dependency. Pharmacist Jenna Anderson strongly believes this is likely because vapes also have nicotine in them, which makes it easy to become addicted to them, just like cigarettes. The sad thing is that many people don’t realize they have nicotine in them, or are even aware of how much nicotine is in there.

More youth are beginning to smoke at a much younger age and this is horrible. Not only are they wasting money and damaging their health, but starting early makes it extremely difficult to quit later. This is still true with vaping. The majority of people I’ve seen vaping are high school students between the ages of 14 and 18. E-juice (flavour) for the vapes comes in a large variety of flavours, similar to candy, so it’s no surprise that it’s appealing to youth. Restrictions need to be established so that youth vaping is discouraged, not simply ignored.

As far as I’m concerned, vaping is just like smoking cigarettes and should be regulated under the same laws. Even though I was little, I remember when smoking was banned inside public buildings. At the time, I’m sure some people were upset, but fast forward a few years and people have accepted it and we are a much better society. The same would be true for restrictive legislation against vaping.

Kathleen Wynne, the Ontario premier, has called the province’s decision ‘common sense’ and I agree with her. This is a serious health issue and people’s well-being should be a priority. Whatever actions would lead to improvements of someone’s health should be taken. If Ontario can pass this type of legislation, why can’t Saskatchewan as well?

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