Regulations to curb youth vaping are taking effect on July 1 across Ontario.
The changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act were announced in February in response to “increases in rates of vaping among youth.”
In a Tuesday press release, Peterborough Public Health said it is ready to enforce those regulations once they take effect on Canada Day.
The changes include:
- The restriction of the sale of flavoured vapour products only to specialty vape stores and licensed cannabis retail stores. Convenience stores can only sell tobacco, menthol and mint flavoured vapour products.
- The restriction of the sale of vapour products with high nicotine concentrations (greater than 20 mg/ml) to specialty vape stores only.
- Specialty vape stores will no longer be permitted to have indoor displays and promotions that are visible from outside their stores.
“As with any new change in regulations, our initial focus will be to ensure that all locations selling vapes are aware of the new regulations and work with them to remove product where it is no longer allowed,” said Donna Churipuy, director of public health programs, in the release. “Ensuring compliance with these new rules is an important part of the overall public health strategy to discourage youth and non-users of tobacco from using vaping products.”
In a 2018-19 study by the government of Canada, 34 per cent of students in grades 7 to 12 had reported trying a vaping product, which was referred to as an e-cigarette in the survey. According to another survey in 2017, 15 per cent of Canadians had tried a vaping product, with youth 15 to 19 years old and young adults 20 to 24 years old most likely to report they had tried vaping.
According to a 2020 survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the vaping rate among Ontario teens more than doubled between 2017 and 2019.
In Ontario, you must be 19 to purchase e-cigarettes and vaping supplies. It is required by law for vape retailers in the province to receive proper government-approved identification from the customer before selling them e-cigarettes or supplies.
In 2019, Health Canada conducted national inspections across the county to check how vendor compliance compared with federal vaping regulations. A local survey conducted by Peterborough Public Health in 2019 found that 85 per cent of the population does not smoke and that support for smoke- and vape-free outdoor spaces is universal.
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