A $100,000 study will examine vaping usage among Canadian teenagers.
The study will take a “by-youth-for-youth” approach to learn teenagers’ experiences with vaping and their motivations. By taking this approach, researchers hope to learn how home, school, online, and retail environments influence vape use, and if socio-economic circumstances, gender, and race play a role.
The information will be used to develop a youth-informed education campaign.
Information will be gathered using in-person friendship-group interviews once the pandemic ends and online focus groups where teenagers can use avatars and pseudonym screen names to remain anonymous.
Western University in London, Ontario, and the United Kingdom’s University of Nottingham will conduct the study. Researchers will be assisted by six high schoolers who will serve as co-researchers and will be trained in research methods, data collection, and analysis.
The “prevalence of vape use among Canadian youth has doubled in the past couple years, with nearly 1 in 12 secondary school students now vaping daily or almost daily,” said Dr. Jason Gilliland, Western University professor of geography, health sciences, pediatrics, and epidemiology and biostatistics. “Creative solutions are urgently needed to produce the kind of evidence required to help combat what is rapidly becoming a public health crisis in Canada and many other nations.”