“Canadian youth have been vocal regarding their mental health and the need for counseling, and through forward-thinking studies, it’s becoming apparent that their requests are valid and pressing,” writes the CVA.
The CVA points to a study conducted in British Columbia which asked youth about quitting vaping. In the responses, 24% of youth reported that vaping improved their mental health and 11% indicated that mental health counselling would help them quit vaping.
In further comments, there were requests for “judgement-free and shameless approaches to quit vaping, as well as education on how to quit. While it may seem obvious that a federal strategy would outline support and stress management for youth, the battle has been wrongfully directed towards flavours.”
The CVA continues: “There are modern and innovative studies from the US that demonstrate the potential effectiveness in appealing to youth by means of their mental health. In their recent study, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh shows that setting goals and strong parental support reduces the likelihood that youth will vape.
“Positive future orientation and high levels of parental monitoring were both linked with a 10% to 25% lower prevalence of recently or ever vaping, compared to peers with lower scores on those protective factors.
“Yale researchers developed a video game, played by using a virtual reality headset, that not only educated teens on nicotine addiction and vaping, but teaches them to say no to vaping while maintaining their coolness and dignity. There was an 80% completion rate, and students reported a satisfactory gameplay experience.
“These studies demonstrate the absolute potential there is in controlling the narrative and offering youth the education and support they need to avoid dependencies in their future. As they are empowered in their own decisions, they build the required skillset to face temptations.”
Darryl Tempest, the Executive Director of the CVA said: “It is imperative that youth learn to cope with strong emotions and deal with their mental health as opposed to using nicotine as a crutch. This requires fail-safe programs that would allow for education that is paired with an awareness of the social stakes and imperatives that surround them.”
The CVA contends that the solution to youth vaping will not result from makeshift regulation change that prohibits access for adults to products proven to help them quit smoking.
“The joy of enjoying flavours is universal, and there are thousands of products that are flavoured in food and drink. Addressing the mental health state of youth and educating them to make good choices now and in the future are paramount to being successful. While Canada attempts to limit the effectiveness of vaping products by obliterating flavours, it is entirely blind sighted by the reality that mental health is a major factor and plays a pivotal role in decreasing the Canadian smoking prevalence.”