Ottawa moves to restrict vaping advertisements to prevent youth exposure

Ottawa has been holding consultations this year on measures to restrict advertising for e-cigarettes

Health Canada is proposing to ban advertising of vaping products in spaces where young people can see them in a bid to rein in the rise of underage e-cigarette use.

Minister Patty Hajdu put forward new rules Thursday that would prohibit vaping promotion in specialty shops, businesses and online platforms frequented by youth.

Hajdu also announced requirements that vaping packages feature health warnings and be child-resistant, as well as plans to place limits on nicotine content in vaping liquids to reduce the risk of accidental child poisoning.

“The new measures announced today will help, but there is more to do,” Hajdu said in a statement. “We are working on further steps to protect youth and our message remains clear: vaping comes with serious risks.”

Ottawa has been holding consultations this year on measures to restrict advertising for e-cigarettes in the face of growing evidence that vaping has taken off among teens.

According to the 2018-2019 Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, the number of high school students who reported vaping in the past month doubled to 20 per cent since 2016-2017.

A spokesperson for Juul Labs Canada said the e-cigarette maker is reviewing the proposed regulations.

ALSO READ: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society, praised the government’s plan as a strong start, but said “comprehensive action” is still needed, such as restricting flavours and implementing a tax.

“Right now, youth are being exposed to e-cigarette advertising in social media, on billboards, on television, and many other places, and that’s going to end with these regulations,” he said.

However, Cunningham urged federal lawmakers to also follow their provincial counterparts in clamping down on the availability of vaping products.

“We have made such progress to reduce youth smoking, but now we’re seeing a whole new generation of kids becoming addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes. That simply shouldn’t be happening,” he said.

Earlier this month, Nova Scotia’s health minister announced the province will be the first to ban sales of flavoured e-cigarettes and juices, and Ontario is considering a similar move.

Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador have also adopted new vaping restrictions in recent months.

The P.E.I. government passed legislation last month that raised the legal age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes from 19 to 21, setting the highest age limit in the country.

In British Columbia, a 10-point plan is aimed at protecting youth from the health risks of vaping, including legislation that caps the nicotine concentration in e-liquids and hiking the provincial sales tax on such products from seven per cent to 20 per cent.

Cunningham said the issue has taken on new urgency due to mounting concern about the links between vaping and respiratory disease.

In the United States, 47 deaths have been attributed to vaping, and 2,000 cases of severe lung disease have been reported. Thirteen cases of vaping-associated lung illness had been reported in Canada as of Dec. 3. So far there have been no deaths.

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal pool advocates hold mixed feelings as Victoria explores previously studied sites

Local neighbourhood associations, swimming advocates vote for different locations

Saanich councillor feels new Walmart at Hillside a step in the wrong direction

‘We’ll all fail our climate goals if we don’t make radical changes to land use,’ says the councillor

Sidney hosts vigil for victims of plane shot down by Iranian missile

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died on Jan. 8

Tell Me A Story returns to Oak Bay

Family Literacy Week starts Jan. 27

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

10 B.C. cities break temperature records in winter storm

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Unprepared for chemistry test, B.C. student begs superintendent to call another snow day

The student from West Vancouver promised he would study more, but was distracted by skiing and hot chocolate

Most Read