“The latest statistics — which show that vaping has doubled among high school students — are alarming,” Hajdu said.
Health Canada has proposed enacting stricter regulations with regard to advertising vaping products to youth in dépanneurs and convenience stores, online and in public spaces.
Under the proposed new rules, vape products could only be advertised at businesses and on websites accessible to adults over the age of majority, and not in any place where they could be “seen or heard by youth.” The products would also feature “new mandatory health warnings” on packaging.
“The Government of Canada is concerned by the rapid rise in youth vaping, and is taking action to address it,” Health Canada noted in a statement Thursday. “Working with other orders of governments, the medical community and other stakeholders, the government will do more to protect youth from the risks of vaping.”
Aside from health warnings, packaging would also have to be child-resistant, and limits would be placed on nicotine content “to ensure that vaping products are not toxic to children” if they are accidentally ingested.
“The latest statistics — which show that vaping has doubled among high school students — are alarming,” Hajdu said in the press release.
“We share the concerns of many parents, medical professionals and health officials. We are working with experts and all Canadians to find ways to prevent youth from vaping. The new measures announced today will help, but there is more to do. We are working on further steps to protect youth and our message remains clear: vaping comes with serious risks,” the minister added.
The proposed regulations will be published starting Dec. 21 for 30 days in the Canada Gazette.
While the new rules apply more to nicotine than cannabis vapes, they are in line with the recent societal pearl-clutching over vaping.
Once viewed as a healthier alternative to smoking, an outbreak of pulmonary illness believed to be caused by contaminated vapes hospitalized nearly 2,500 people in the U.S. this year. In Canada, there were just 14 cases reported.
Authorities suspect the culprit to be additive ingredient vitamin E acetate, which is banned in Canadian vape products.
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Written by Emma Spears