The province will soon restrict the promotion of vaping products in some public locations to discourage youth from vaping.

On October 25, the Ontario government announced that vapour-product promotion will be banned from display in convenience stores and gas stations.

The change will come into effect on January 1, 2020. Vaping advertisements will only be permitted in retail stores like specialty vape stores and cannabis retail stores, which are open to those aged 19 and over.

The new rules arrive amid youth-related health concerns expressed by Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot. In a September City News release, Elliot referred to “growing evidence” on the matter, stating her concern about the “prevalence and possible health consequences of vaping, particularly as they affect our youth.”

From 2017 to 2018, the Ministry of Health estimated a “74 per cent increase in vaping among Canadian youth aged 16 to 19.”

Elliott added that “vaping is not without risk, and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain uncertain.” Identifying further action would signify the first step “to curb the alarming increase in young people vaping.”

The Health Ministry hopes that restricting retail store vaping advertisements will prevent young people from being both exposed to and influenced by retail-setting promotion.

In a statement shared by City News, Elliot said, “I know that is a big concern to parents and families and I’m concerned about the potential health effects the increase in vaping has brought forward, so we are starting with this prohibition of advertising.”

The Ford government will implement these new rules by amending provincial legislation, making it equivalent to the current ban on retail tobacco promotion.

Next to Ontario, seven other provinces have already unveiled similar vaping promotion restrictions. Ontario’s upcoming ban comes after a London, Ontario teenager was diagnosed with a severe respiratory illness related to vaping. The teenager was placed on life-support.

The 2017 Canadian Student Alcohol and Drugs Survey reveals that two-thirds of students who vape do so with nicotine products.

The University of Toronto previously banned smoking at the St. George campus in early January 2019. The smoke-free policy prohibits the use of smoking tobacco and cannabis, including the use of vaping devices and e-cigarettes. 

The University of Toronto Mississauga currently has specific smoking areas across the campus where smoking is allowed.  

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