Steps announced today will help address the youth vaping epidemic in Ontario
TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2020 /CNW/ - Heart & Stroke congratulates the Government of Ontario on its announcement today that the sale of most flavoured vaping products and those with nicotine concentrations over 20mg/mL will be restricted to specialty tobacco and vaping stores accessible only to those over the age of 18.
These are critically important steps that will make these addictive products less appealing and less accessible to Ontario's youth. Additionally, Heart & Stroke recommends further action that will continue to strengthen Ontario's response to the youth vaping epidemic.
"We are pleased to hear that candy- and dessert-flavoured vaping products will be removed from retail environments where they are sold alongside actual candy, soft drinks and other kid-friendly treats," says Avril Goffredo, Executive Vice President, Ontario and Nunavut, Heart & Stroke. "While it is the flavours that entice kids, the nicotine is what hooks them. We are encouraged to see the Government of Ontario address both issues with these new regulations."
Other jurisdictions have taken restrictions even further, including a comprehensive flavour ban — aside from tobacco and "bland" — that was recently adopted by the Government of Nova Scotia. This move has set a new bar for the rest of the country, and Heart & Stroke supports the Government of Ontario in their effort to clear it with further, more comprehensive, flavour regulations in future.
Heart & Stroke has two other key proposals before the government that would also address this public health crisis: increasing the minimum age of purchase for both tobacco and vaping products to 21, and imposing a tax of 20 – 30% on vaping products to discourage use by young people.
"The Government of Ontario has taken good first steps, but much more needs to be done, including more comprehensive flavour regulations," says Dr. Andrew Pipe, Chair of the Board of Directors, Heart & Stroke. "This is a pervasive problem that doesn't have one solution. We have to apply our decades of learning from tobacco control to create a comprehensive response."
To that end, Heart & Stroke also asks the Government of Ontario to push the federal government to urgently demonstrate leadership on the youth vaping issue.
"There are many opportunities for the federal government to lead and so far, they have not delivered," adds Dr. Pipe. "Ontario can add its voice to the growing provincial chorus for change."
About Heart & Stroke
Life. We don't want you to miss it. That's why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don't miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.
SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation
For further information: Joshua Terry, Communications Advisor, Ontario, Heart & Stroke, [email protected], 416-489-7111, x. 24806 / 647-444-4391 (mobile)