Studies have found that when adolescents consume nicotine they are not only more likely to become addicted to nicotine, but also to other substances.
Youth mental well-being in Canada has seen a decline in recent years, and similar patterns are observed around the world. The CVA is pointing out that while those who support flavour bans insist that the availability of flavours is what encourages young people to try the products, they ignore the data indicating that switching from smoking to vaping, improves their mental well-being levels.
“A study conducted in BC asked youth about quitting vaping, where 24% of youth reported that vaping improved their mental health and 11% indicated that mental health counseling would help them quit vaping. In their comments, there are requests for judgement-free and shameless approaches to quit vaping, as well as education on how to quit. While it may seem obvious that a federal strategy would outline support and stress management for youth, the battle has been wrongfully directed towards flavours,” explains the CVA.
Mental health patients are more likely to smoke than healthy individuals
Data gathered across the globe keep indicating that mental health patients are more likely to smoke than individuals who do not suffer from psychological or psychiatric conditions. Moreover, these individuals are more likely to find it harder to quit. To this effect, they benefit greatly from having extra support in relation to smoking cessation and access to safer alternatives, that would at least lessen the chances of them also suffering from smoke-related conditions.
Rightly, some studies have indicated that given that their brains are still developing, when adolescents consume nicotine they are not only more likely to become addicted to nicotine, but also to other substances. Moreover, nicotine has been found to effect the dopamine pathway, therefore a dependence has been associated with mood disorders including anxiety and depression, and behavioural issues such as impulsivity.
Nicotine is not what kills smokers
On the other hand, the products’ potential as smoking cessation and tobacco harm reduction tools cannot be denied. A recent report by former stop-smoking service manager in the UK, Louise Ross, the third in a series of five, said that nicotine is not what kills smokers and pointed out that it is imperative to improve understanding that e-cigarettes are substantially safer than smoking, and can be used to help smokers quit.
“The tar (and not the nicotine) in tobacco smoke also increases the need for higher doses of some psychotropic medications, so stopping smoking enables some people to be prescribed a lower dose and experience fewer side-effects (NCSCT, 2018).”
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