A new report reveals that young people are just as likely to try e-cigarettes as smoking, with 20% of youth ages 15 to 19 experimenting with vaping.

“E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular among Canadians,” said David Hammond, lead author on the report and a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at Waterloo. “Now one in five youth will try vaping before graduating high school.”

The devices create a vapour by heating a chemical solution of propylene glycol, flavouring agents and sometimes nicotine. Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and no combustion takes place when they are used.

“There is no question that e-cigarettes are a harmful consumer product because of all of the chemicals users inhale. However, because they don’t produce smoke, they are significantly less harmful than smoking,” said Professor Hammond, who testified to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health in November.

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