Protecting Youth from the Dangers of VapingPublished on October 25, 2019
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.
"While the potential long-term effects remain uncertain, we do know that vaping does involve some risk," said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. "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 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.
- 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).