Ontario Moves to Protect Youth from the Dangers of Vaping

Ontario is moving to protecting youth from the Dangers of Vaping
Ontario is moving to protecting youth from the Dangers of Vaping

THUNDER BAY – You see them everywhere with their clouds of emissions. Vaping has become very popular. It is especially popular and increasingly common for youth. That has the Ontario government moving to effect changes.

Ontario is taking urgent action to address the issue of youth vaping by banning the promotion of vapour products in convenience stores and gas stations. Starting January 1, 2020, the promotion of vapour products in retail stores will only be permitted in specialty vape stores and cannabis retail stores, which are only open to people aged 19 and over.

“Restricting the promotion of vapour products in retail stores will help prevent youth from being exposed and influenced by promotion in retail settings,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This is just one way our government is taking action to protect young people in Ontario.”

These changes follow consultations with stakeholders – including experts, communities and families concerned with youth vaping and the promotion of vapour products – as well as new and emerging research from health experts that indicate vaping among Ontario’s youth is on the rise.

“Vaping is not without risk, and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain uncertain,” said Elliott. “As we continue to engage with experts and families to identify further action we can take to protect our youth, this first step will help begin to curb the alarming increase in young people vaping.”

The New Democrats say the Conservative Government is reversing course on what they say was a hasty decision last year.

NDP Health critic France Gélinas released this statement following the Ford government’s announcement to reverse their disastrous decision to deregulate ads for vaping. “Doug Ford rolled out the welcome mat for the vaping industry, and now Conservatives are scrambling to fix the mess that’s caused.

“Last year, the Ford government made the reckless and irresponsible decision to loosen regulations and allow vaping companies to advertise their products – including locations where they would be seen by children.

“They are finally acknowledging that was a huge mistake. However, there is much more to do. The Cancer Society, doctors and public health experts have been calling for a ban on flavoured vapes designed to entice young customers, limiting the amount of nicotine vape marketers can put in their product and limiting the sales to specialty stores.”

The regulatory amendment will align rules for in-store promotion of vapour products with those for tobacco under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, bringing Ontario in line with seven other Canadian provinces with similar restrictions.

QUICK FACTS

  • Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017), retail stores that are not specialty vape stores (“non-specialty stores”) like convenience stores and gas stations currently can promote vapour products, if the promotion complies with the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (Canada).
  • Vaping has become increasingly popular, particularly with youth. In just one year, from 2017 to 2018, there has been a 74 per cent increase in vaping among Canadian youth aged 16-19 (Hammond et al, 2019).
  • Of concern, two thirds of students who vape are using products with nicotine (Canadian Student Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 2017).