New national data shows the number of Canadian teenagers regularly using e-cigarettes ranks among the highest in the world, and experts say a lack of action from the federal government and the widespread availability of flavoured vapes is fuelling a growing crisis.

The latest results from Health Canada’s Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, which surveyed 61,096 teenagers in grades 7 to 12 from nine provinces between September 2021 and June 2022, found that 29 per cent of Canadian students had ever tried an e-cigarette.

That number is down slightly overall in Canada, from 34 per cent in 2018-19, but is higher in older age groups — with 41 per cent of students in grade 10 to 12 ever having vaped.

Regular use of e-cigarettes also continues to be widespread in Canada, with 17 per cent of students having used an e-cigarette in the past month, down slightly from 20 per cent in 2018-19, but is again higher in grades 10 to 12 with over 24 per cent being monthly users.