30 Signs that your Child Could be Vaping

The prevalence of e-cigarette use (or vaping) is increasing among youth in the country.  Parents and other trusted adults have an important role in helping youth make good health choices.  The following are some examples of signs that a child may be vaping--this means it is a great time to start a conversation about the risks of vaping and ways to protect lung health.

For more information, here are the links to vaping information from the following:
Health Canada
Smokers' Helpline
NL Alliance for the Control of Tobacco

Physical Signs

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Smoker’s Cough
  • More Lung Infections
  • Chest Pain
  • Throat Clearing
  • Vaper’s Tongue
    • Propylene Glycol (PG) in e-juices dries out the mouth and tongue making it difficult to taste the flavour of food.  Your child may then use more salt and/or spices to enhance flavour.
  • Bloody Sores in Mouth
  • Increased Thirst
    • Propylene Glycol (PG) in e-juices dries out the mouth, increasing thirst.
  • Reducing or Skipping Caffeine
    • E-cigarette users can develop a sensitivity to caffeine that makes them reduce or eliminate caffeine usage.
  • Nosebleeds
    • Propylene Glycol (PG) in e-juices dries out the inside of the nose, triggering random nosebleeds.
  • Dry and/or Bloodshot Eyes
    • Propylene Glycol (PG) in e-juices is known to irritate eyes and dry them out.
  • Skin Damage
    • Skin damage may include irritated skin, worsening acne, and increased red spots.
  • Nausea and Vomiting
    • First-time users and frequent users may experience nausea and vomiting due to nicotine.
  • Weight Loss
    • Nicotine suppresses appetite.
  • Sleep Disturbance
    • People who vape tend to have their sleep pattern disrupted.  They may stay up later than usual, may have difficulty falling asleep and/or may be restless during sleep.
  • Seizures

Other Signs

  • Finding Unusual Online Purchases or Packages
  • Finding Unusual or Unfamiliar Items
    • Example:  batteries and chargers.  New designs are being manufactured to resemble watches, pens, markers, and other common objects.
  • Finding Organic Cotton Balls and Metallic Wires
  • Finding Discarded Pods
  • Finding Discarded Atomizers
    • Atomizers turn e-liquid into vapour.
  • Finding Pens and USB Drives that Don’t Look Normal
    • These items could be vaping devices.
  • Noticing an Unexplained Sweet Scent
    • Flavoured e-juices include those with a sweet scent such a various fruit flavours or cotton candy.
  • Noticing White Clouds
    • Vaping devices produce white clouds of vapour.
  • Finding Residue on Surfaces, Especially Glass
    • You may notice a layer of film left behind by clouds of vapour.
  • Behaviour Changes, Mood Swings, and Agitation
    • Vaping nicotine affects the part of the brain that controls emotions, decision making, and impulse regulation.
  • Poor Academic and/or Athletic Performance
    • Nicotine induces changes to the brain.
  • Use of Vaping Lingo in Text Messages or on Social Media
    • Youth may brag about their vaping on YouTube, Twitter, and/or Instagram.  They may also use the following terms/lingo:
    • Sauce = E-juice
    • Juice = E-juice
    • Juul = A Brand of E-cigs
    • Atty = Atomizer
    • VG = Vegetable Glycerin
    • APV = Advanced Personal Vaporizer
  • Risk Taking
    • Using addictive substances is a behavioural risk in and of itself.  Vaping damages the pre-frontal cortex of the brain possibly resulting in unsound decision making and other risky behaviours.
  • Finding Dried Cannabis or Cannabis Oils
    • Vaping devices can be used to deliver cannabis.

Page Last Updated: 16/09/2020