A new ban on the promotion of vaping products in Ontario is now in effect for convenience stores and gas stations. The regulations were announced by the Ontario government several months ago to try to stem the increase in vaping among young people.
Vaping products can still be sold in convenience stores and gas stations and can still be promoted in specialty vaping and cannabis shops, but the new rules bring vaping into line with the ban on in-store tobacco promotion.
Ontario’s health minister, Christine Elliott, said it’s just the beginning.
“This is the first of other steps that we’re contemplating right now. This isn’t the only step that will be taken by the government. I have been in consultations with stakeholders, with parents, putting together consultations with young people to understand exactly what got them started vaping, what it is that they’re vaping,” Elliott said.
Health officials in the United State and Canada are concerned about the rise in vaping related illnesses. When vaping began it was believed to be less harmful than cigarettes, but now the medical profession is seeing extreme cases of lung and respiratory illnesses linked to vaping.
The Lung Association says the ad ban is a step in the right direction. Christina Sperling, with the association, said much more can and should be done.
“We would love to see more being done with the advertising being done on social media and over the internet. That’s definitely an area where teens and young adults are going,” Sperling said.
Sperling said studies have shown that from 2017 to 2018 there has been an increase of 74% in vaping by young people.
The ban, however, isn’t sitting well with some convenience store and gas station owners. They ask why they have been singled out, adding if there is an ad ban it should be evenly applied everywhere.