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No, 10% of high school kids don’t vape cannabis every day

We were alarmed by stories circulating last week asserting that government-commissioned study showed that, among several worrisome claims, “10% of respondents in high school said they [vape cannabis] daily.” 

So we dug up the study from Health Canada to see the data for ourselves.

Why it matters 

One of the goals of adult-use legalization was to reduce youth consumption. In 2018, 19.8% of kids between 15 and 17 had used cannabis in the last three months. If research showed that nearly 25% of youth were now vaping cannabis extracts three to four days/week as Postmedia reported, we’d be concerned.

Thankfully (or not), the sample was misrepresented. The study looks specifically at how appealing flavoured cannabis extracts are to young people. So participants were between 15 and 24, and qualified for the survey if they vape cannabisextracts — not flower — in particular. And 10% of that sample — not all high schoolers — say they vape extracts daily.

So what else does it say?

There are a few insights that could impact future rules around vapes:

  • 33% said they like non-cannabis flavours; many respondents weren’t aware of them
  • 61% qualified as “frequent” vapers (at least one day/week)
  • For the younger group (15-17), 50% said they got theirs from a friend; 30% said they asked someone; 25% said they were shared among friends; 22% said a dealer; 18% said an acquaintance; 17% said a family member; and 10% said an illegal storefront
  • The older cohort (18-24) was more likely to buy legally from a storefront (43%) or a legal online store (29%)

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