Last Summer, the provincial government of Ontario put on hold changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act 2017, which included a ban on the promotion of vaping products, that were meant to come into effect on July 1, 2018.
Electronic Cigarette Trade Association (ECTA) President Daniel David, had pointed out that it is important that local lawmakers are recognizing the importance of regulating vaping differently than smoking. “We are optimistic that Ontario’s government will give us a chance to contribute to the development of new regulations that will benefit all stakeholders. Vaping should not be regulated like tobacco and we are thankful that they recognize the Smoke Free Ontario Act 2017 needs to be re-evaluated.”
The Smoke Free Ontario Act 2017 allows vaping products to be displayed
However the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco which includes the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart & Stroke Foundation, has complained that proposed changes to the Smoke Act will allow the advertising of such products. “We strongly urge the Ford government to withdraw the proposal to allow unrestricted display and promotion of these products where kids can see them, often next to the candy, in retail stores,” said Michael Perley, the group’s director.
Perley inaccurately stated that many vaping products are made by tobacco companies, and come in packages that look like candy in order to entice teens. “One has to wonder whether these vaping products from the tobacco industry are on the market with nicotine to encourage users, especially younger users who don’t already smoke, to then move on to cigarettes?” he said. “That’s a question we don’t have an answer to. It seems possible.
The Ministry of Health assures that minors are being protected
In response to this, a spokeswoman for the Minister of Health said that while the new regulation acknowledges that smoking and vaping products are different, the government will ensure that potentially harmful products are not accessible to youth.
“That’s why retailers are prohibited from selling tobacco and vapour products to anyone under the age of 19,” said Hayley Chazan “Furthermore, the testing of vapour products would be restricted to registered specialty vape stores where access by persons under the age of 19 is prohibited.”