Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is a strong contributor to a long life. The habit of smoking, however, has been proven to cause heart disease and many cancers in Canadians, severely reducing one’s chances of longevity.
Smoking does this with the chemicals in the tobacco which can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can ultimately lead to a heart attack. When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe.
Fortunately, smoking as a habit has greatly decreased in the past few decades among the Canadian population as it has been proven to cause many of the ailments we just mentioned. On the rise though is the habit of vaping, which like smoking, can allow users to inhale nicotine.
The Canadian Cancer Society has said the following about e-cigarettes, “Although e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes, they are harmful. Studies on the long-term risks of e-cigarettes have not yet been done, though evidence of the toxicity from inhalation of e-cigarette vapour continues to mount.”
This is a cause of concern for many health practitioners as there has recently been a proposal put forward by the Ontario government to have e-cigarettes and vaping supplies available in convenience stores across the province. This is a big issue as it takes them from the back behind the counter to the front in a display that can easily be seen by youth.
The Canadian Cancer Society reported that in 2016/17, nearly 10% of youth in grade 10-12 (9.9%) were past 30-day e-cigarette users, a 46% increase from 2014/15.
A further cause of concern is the upcoming legalization of marijuana in Canada. Youth having access to a “vaporizer” that can be used for nicotine as well as marijuana, which can affect their brains development, is very concerning.
To help you understand the further risks of vaping and smoking, and ways that you can reduce these habits, we have provided the following helpful resources:
- Canadian Cancer Society: They’re a helpful resource in understanding what e-cigarettes are and ways that you can reduce smoking in all its forms. Additionally, here is some information on their thoughts around cannabis.
- Smokers Helpline: A site that is dedicated to helping smokers understand the benefits and negatives that can be attributed to smoking. It also has community forums for those who are in the process of quitting and resources to begin your first steps.
- The Government of Canada: The government has created a site that allows you to connect with an organization in your province that provides resources on how to quit. They also have a toll free line that you can use to ask questions and talk to someone about quitting.
- Break it off: Is a free mobile app that is dedicated to helping younger people quit smoking.
- Leave the pack behind: Is a free resource from the Government of Ontario that offers young adults information on how to quit and personalized support.