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Vaping products include e-cigarettes which contain a flavoured liquid with nicotine and other chemicals that are heated to create an aerosol inhaled into the lungs, according to QuitNow, a vaping site operated by the B.C. Lung Association.

What stood out for Smith is the way youth differentiate between smoking cigarettes and vaping, especially around sports. One of the reasons teens don’t smoke tobacco is that they know it affects athletic performance. But they’re not making the same connection to vaping.

In focus group surveys, one of the things the study found was that younger teens who are vaping think that because they’re using something that tastes like bubble gum, it doesn’t have nicotine.

“We’ve definitely heard from young people that the kind of the punitive approach that some schools are taking is really not effective,” Smith said.

“If young people are vaping in school and in class, it tends to be because they’re really struggling with addiction and they can’t get through a 40-minute class. So we’re not going to address that with a suspension or anything like that.”

Russell Teibert, the Vancouver Whitecaps captain, is a board member of the McCreary Society.

In a video, he said McCreary research shows that vaping is one area where coaches, teammates and mentors can play an important role.

“Those involved in sports are much more likely to be vaping and seemingly unaware of the negative affects,” he said.

Athletes, he said, are always trying for a competitive edge over opponents.

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