Doctors in Canada are reporting that teens have resorted to binge vaping during the COVID-19 pandemic to cope with isolation and other stress.

According to Dr Nicholas Chadi, addiction services supervisor at Ste-Justine Hospital in Montreal, the behavioral changes have resulted in serious nicotine addictions and worsening mental health problems for some teenagers and even pre-teens. Chadi says young people are using vape products and cannabis and alcohol, and in a way that is definitely more intense than before the pandemic.

“Young people are telling me, you know I can just sit in my room and vape until my pod or my cartridge is empty, I’ll just plug it in charge it and just vape and vape and vape – get a head rush, get the buzz from the nicotine and then there’s no more,” the addictions expert says.

The negative consequences don’t take long to materialize. They can’t sleep because they’re “high on nicotine, my heart is beating fast,” says the specialist. The lack of sleep causes depression, and fatigue – but the teens say “because I vape all the time, I can’t stop.”