June 24, 2016 • read

#ThinkBeforeYouVape Targets Teens

The Canadian Cancer Society is taking aim at teen vaping with 2 new PSAs comparing vaping to playing with green ooze and pterodactyl nests.

According to the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, 16% of BC youth between 15-19 years old have tried an e-cigarette. While research is evolving around the benefits and harms of vaping, the long-term health impacts are unknown. For this reason, the Society is calling on teens to #thinkbeforeyouvape.

The new PSAs ask teens to #thinkbeforeyouvape by showing surreal and potentially harmful situations that have yet to cause the actors real harm, paralleling the potential dangers of using e-cigarettes.

In one spot, teens play with green ooze and in the other they cuddle up to a giant pterodactyl-like egg – two scenarios where danger feels just around the corner.

Watch “Ooze”

Watch “Egg”


To round out the campaign, the Society also ran a stunt in a transit shelter made to look like a crystal ball. When a button was pressed, teenagers were shown how unclear their future would be if they continue to vape.

Watch the stunt video. 


E-Cigarettes and Vaping #ThinkBeforeYouVape


  • Interest and sales of e-cigarettes (vapes) have increased substantially since the introduction to the Canadian market in 2007
  • The Society recognizes the potential benefit that e-cigarettes may provide to Canadians trying to quit smoking, though research in this area is evolving. E-cigarettes are believed to be less harmful than regular cigarettes
  • Health Canada has not concluded that e-cigarettes are effective cessation aids
  • Many public health experts, including the World Health Organization, have raised concerns about the potential for e-cigarettes to ‘renormalize’ smoking behavior and act as a gateway to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking, particularly for youth
  • E-cigarettes with nicotine cannot be legally sold in Canada but are nonetheless widely available in vaping stores and on the internet. Nicotine e-juice is also widely available and some non-nicotine e-cigarettes sold in Canada actually do contain nicotine
  • E-cigarettes aerosol may contain a variety of substances, including propylene glycol, glycerol, flavourings and sometimes nicotine
  • There are no product standards for ingredients contained in e-cigarettes. E-cigarette ingredients vary among products and may be unknown to the distributor and consumer
  • In BC, the provincial government is amending the Tobacco Act on September 1, 2016 to include e-cigarettes, effectively banning e-cigarettes from being used in indoor workplaces and public places, banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19 and restricting advertising or promotion of e-cigarettes


According to a 2015 special report on e-cigarette patterns and trends in Canada produced by the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact:

  • 16% of BC youth aged 15-19 years old have tried an e-cigarette
  • Of youth who have tried an e-cigarette, 57% have never smoked, indicating interest among non-smokers
  • About 20% of Canadians aged 15-24 have tried an e-cigarette
  • 9% of all Canadian e-cigarette users did not know whether their last e-cigarette contained nicotine

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