Alcohol Drugs and Youth

Public advisory on nicotine pouches
Nicotine pouches are new to Ontario and there is limited information on their health effects, or how effective they are at helping people quit smoking. In March 2024, Health Canada released a public advisory related to the use of nicotine pouches, that cautions they should not be used by anyone under 18. As nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco, they are not enforced under the Smoke Free Ontario Act or the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act. Use of these products, like other products that contain nicotine (vapes, cigarettes) can lead to nicotine addiction.

In Ontario, nicotine pouches are being promoted and sold in convenience stores and gas stations, with in-store promotions that may be located near candy or chocolate bars. However, illegal products, such as “Zyn,” have also been seen on the market, and should be reported to Health Canada. Do not buy or use any unauthorized nicotine pouches. Always keep nicotine products out of the reach of children and teens.

Parents, guardians and caregivers play a significant role in a child’s life. You are a role model. Stay connected by talking to your child, knowing their friends and being prepared.

Youth is a time of getting to know yourself and trying to fit in with others. Your youth may face peer pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. It is normal for your youth to be curious about these substances. There is a fear of the unknown, but a curiosity about things that are "off-limits."

For more information on other drugs, check out Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Mental Health and Addiction Information A to Z.

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