News Release: Province Amends Smoke-Free Ontario Act Protecting Youth from Vaping
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 | 3:15 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County
The Province of Ontario has amended the Smoke-free Ontario Act, 2017 to further address the prevalence of youth vaping. These amendments strengthen the restrictions on youth access to flavoured and high nicotine vapour products to protect youth under 19 years of age, from the harms associated with vaping.
These new regulations align regulatory measures for vapour products closer to that of current regulations for tobacco products. The new amendments which come into effect July 1, 2020 include:
- Restricting the sale of flavoured vapour products to specialty vape stores and licensed cannabis retail stores. Other retail stores can only sell tobacco, menthol, and mint flavoured vapour products;
- Restricting the sale of vapour products with high nicotine concentrations (greater than 20 mg/ml) to specialty vape stores;
- Specialty vape stores will no longer be permitted to have indoor displays and promotions that are visible from outside their stores.
Many vapour products currently available deliver higher concentrations of nicotine per puff than older types of e-cigarettes and even tobacco cigarettes. Since nicotine is a highly addictive substance that can have adverse effects on the developing brain, it is important to regulate these products to ensure they are not available to young people. The wide availability of youth-appealing flavours is also contributing to an increase in youth vaping that has been seen across North America. These new regulations will limit the settings in which these high nicotine/flavoured products can be sold, to those which restrict access to people under the age of 19.
This amendment adds to the protections put in place at the beginning of the year restrictions came into place, which prohibited the promotion of e-cigarette/vapour products inside and directly in front of convenience stores.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s (WECHU) Tobacco and Vaping Enforcement Officers (TVEOs) are designated to enforce these regulations. Since the SFOA, 2017 came into effect in October of 2018, WECHU TVEOs have laid 47 charges related to vapour products/e-cigarettes. Including 15 charges related to selling a vapour products to a person who is less than 19 years old.
Eric Nadalin, Manager of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at the health unit supports the provinces introduction of further regulatory measures under the SFOA, 2017. “It is important that measures continue to be taken to reduce the appeal, access, exposure, and de-normalize vapour products to protect youth.” Nadalin says. “We continue to work with our community partners to educate youth about the harms of vaping and provide resources for parents to talk to their children.”
Individuals with questions related to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 can contact the WECHU at 519-258-2146 ext. 3100 or visit their website at www.wechu.org.