Expanding our understanding of how vaping affects health

Four new and innovative research projects funded by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are uncovering critical new knowledge about the health effects of vaping and how we can better protect the health of Canadians.

Recent studies in Canada and the US have shown alarming trends in the rise of youth vaping. This is concerning because youth who use e-cigarettes with nicotine are at an increased risk of becoming smokers, which could increase their risk of developing cancer.

However, there is a substantial gap in our understanding of vaping-related behaviours and its direct impact on health. The 4 new Vaping Catalyst Grants, co-funded by CCS and CIHR, aim to help fill that gap by addressing key questions related to e-cigarette use.

One of the researchers receiving a 1-year Catalyst Grant is Dr Donald Sin, who is studying how exactly vaping affects the lungs and airways. He and his team are looking at whether e-cigarette use damages the lungs and airways, putting the individual at higher risk of developing lung diseases like lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia.

The other 3 funded projects look at how vaping policies affect the e-cigarette market and vaping behaviour in youth, how e-cigarette product features like price and packaging impact a person’s decision to buy and use the product, and whether e-cigarettes are truly a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes.

"With the rapid rise in vaping in Canada, particularly among youth, more research is urgently needed to understand the long-term health effects of vaping," says Dr Stuart Edmonds, Executive Vice President, Mission, Research and Advocacy at CCS. "The findings from these Catalyst Grants will help inform advocacy efforts and policies to mitigate the risks related to vaping and benefit public health so that Canadians can live longer, fuller lives.

The Canadian Cancer Society continues to advocate for more action to curb youth vaping including imposing a ban on flavours in e-cigarettes to reduce their appeal.

Dr Donald Sin
Dr Donald Sin