Youth and Young Adult Vaping

Gathering evidence and guiding practice

Vaping among youth and emerging adults has become an epidemic. Between 2017 and 2018, vaping among Canadians aged 16 to 19 increased by 74%. This trajectory signifies a “red alert” state. Despite the evidence on the effects of social media (e.g. advertisements and other marketing tactics) and other factors influencing vaping, there is a dearth of evidence on the perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs of Canadian youth about vaping and vaping advertisements. There is also a little evidence on the influence of personality and social/environmental factors that influence vaping behaviour, as well as the mechanisms that explain why youth and young adults vape, and the cluster of characteristics that increase the likelihood of use. These gaps need to be addressed to better guide public health policy.

About the project

Due to this epidemic, vaping among youth and young adults is considered a priority issue at the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) and Nova Scotia Health. This topic was brought forward at the MSSU Bridge Event in November of 2019. In attendance was Dr. Mohammed Al-Hamdani, who was conducting a survey among youth and young adults to examine the types of vapers, reasons for use, mechanisms explaining use and moderators of use in N.S. As this survey was near completion, a collaborative team from the Bridge Event was formed to help support the development of infographics for this research.


Read a summary of Dr. Al-Hamdani’s survey findings.


Project leads

  • Dr. Mohammed Al-Hamdani, Part-Time Faculty, Saint Mary’s University,  Executive Director Smoke-Free Nova Scotia and Director of Health Initiatives, The Lung Association of Nova Scotia
  • Gary O’Toole, Senior Director, Population & Public Health, Nova Scotia Health­
  • Julia Kontak, Knowledge Translation Coordinator, MSSU, Nova Scotia Health


We want to acknowledge the important contributions of: Michele Banfield, Senior Policy Analyst, Department of Health and Wellness; Dr. Amy Grant, Senior Health Policy Researcher, MSSU; Dr. Pattie Hansen-Ketchum, Director and Associate Professor, Rankin School of Nursing, St. Francis Xavier University; Yvonne Hanson, Patient Engagement Coordinator, MSSU (formerly); Elizabeth Jeffers, Research Manager, MSSU; Novella Martinello, Public Policy Analyst, Public Health, Nova Scotia Health; Liam Rowe, Research Assistant, MSSU, Nova Scotia Health; Dr. Steven M. Smith, Associate Vice-President Academic & Enrolment Management, Professor of Psychology, Saint Mary’s University and Dr. Sherry Stewart, Canada Research Chair in Addictions and Mental Health and Professor, Departments of Psychiatry/Psychology and Neuroscience/Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University.

Youth and Young Adult Vaping