Anti-vaping sentiment in Canada has nearly doubled

by Leo Almazora07 Jan 2020

Canadians’ views on vaping have shifted significantly over the past year as evidence pointing to the harmfulness of the trend emerges, according to a new study.

In a 2019 poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, 62% of Canadians agreed that vaping does more harm than good, compared to just 35% who said the same thing in a similar 2018 study.

A breakdown of respondents by age revealed a heavier concentration of negative opinions among older Canadians aged 55 and older, who are less exposed to such products. While the youngest respondents — those between 35 and 54 years old — were most likely to say that vaping “does equal amounts of harm and good,” negative sentiment still got the largest weighting (49%) within that age group.

Support for vaping as a way to quit smoking also appears to have been eroded. In its 2018 poll, the institute found that 46% of Canadians agreed that switching from smoking to vaping is good for one’s health, compared to 30% who disagreed; the tables turned in last year’s survey, wherein 35% of agreed and 56% disagreed with the statement.

Concerns over the possible impact on children were also clear to see, as the survey found near-unanimous support for a restriction on flavoured vaping products. Specifically, 82% of all respondents said they would consider restricting such products to adult-only stores as a good idea, compared to 60% who were in favour of a total ban.

Other restrictions that would be “a good idea,” according to more than half of Canadian polled, were:

  • Banning advertising of vaping products in areas that young people frequent (90%);
  • Adding health warnings to any vaping packaging or products that contain nicotine (89%); and
  • Raising the sales tax to 20% on vape products (62%).

Just under half of respondents (46%) expressed support for a total ban on vaping products; the sentiment was stronger among those aged 55 and above, with 61% saying that it would be a good idea. In contrast, a majority of millennials (53%) held the opposite view.