TORONTO – POLITICS – Ontario NDP Health Critic France Gélinas has reintroduced a bill titled “Vaping is not for Kids”, which proposes a number of restrictions on vaping products in the province. The bill would prohibit the promotion of vaping products, restrict sales to specialty vape shops, increase the minimum legal age from 19 to 21, and ban online sales of vaping products. It would also require Ontario Health to prepare an annual report on vaping usage and fund research and awareness campaigns.
The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) has responded to the bill, stating that it does not oppose the proposal to restrict sales to specialty vape stores. However, the association has raised concerns about the proposal being seen as hypocritical, especially in light of the recent expansion of alcohol sales to grocery stores. The CVA also believes that the legal age of majority should be consistent across all adult products.
The vaping industry opposes the ban on online sales, as it would limit access to rural Ontarians and those with mobility issues and disabilities. Data from the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds that youth usage of alcohol and cannabis is markedly higher than youth usage of vape products. The vaping industry argues that online sales from Canadian vendors pose no additional risk to youth, as all online sales are shipped through an age-verification service.
The CVA agrees that Ontario’s regulations could be strengthened, but through increased enforcement of existing regulations and harsher penalties, not further regulation. The industry advocates and stakeholders plan to reach out to their Members of Provincial Parliament to discuss their concerns.