Last year, 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.

The ECTA is thankful that the Smoke Free Ontario Act 2017 regulates vaping differently than smoking.

Electronic Cigarette Trade Association (ECTA) President Daniel David, had pointed out 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.”

However the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco which includes the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart & Stroke Foundation, had 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.

The EVALI effect?

Meanwhile, possibly influenced by the current state of affairs in the US, Health Minister Christine Elliott has just announced a ban on the promotion of e-cigarettes, saying that she wants to protect young people from the effects of vaping.

When towards the end of 2018, the US FDA had released the infamous statements about the alleged alarming rise in youth vaping, Canada who had always seemed to be a step ahead of the US in relation to harm reduction, seemed unfazed by the FDA’s actions. At the time, Health Canada spokesperson Anna Maddison had explained that current Canadian regulations already restricted “the promotion of vaping products with candy and dessert flavours, such as crème brûlée and blueberry cake” to protect young people from the effects of vaping.

Canada changes its attitude towards teen vaping

However earlier this year, in an interview on Regulator Watch, Director General of the Tobacco Control Directorate at Health Canada James Van Loon, had pointed out that the concern about an increase in teen vaping was real and substantial. “If left unchecked, youth vaping poses an “existential threat” to the vaping industry in Canada,” said Van Loon in what was clearly a warning to industry stakeholders.

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In-house journalist covering international vaping news.