Health Canada says it intends to introduce new measures to curb the rising amount of vaping by young people.
The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act already prohibits ads that appeal to young people, but Health Canada said it aims to strengthen those rules, such as limiting the visibility of ads to young people.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced new measures on Tuesday including:
- A proposal for more advertising restrictions on vaping.
- A new public education campaign targeted at young people.
- Limits on places where advertisements can placed.
- Limits to the content of advertisements.
- Limits on the display of vaping products in certain retail locations.
The proposed rules would also require health warning messages on permitted advertisements.
“I am deeply concerned about recent reports that youth vaping is on the rise,” Petitpas Taylor said in a statement.
“This includes stories coming out of schools across Canada, and emerging data suggesting that young Canadians are taking up vaping at an alarming rate.”
There will be a 45-day public consultation period on the proposed regulations.
Health Canada also plans to post another consultation document in March to seek comments “on further measures being considered to address and reverse the recent trends of youth vaping. Some of these additional measures could include examining the role of flavours, nicotine concentration and product design in making vaping products appealing to youth and non-smokers,” the department said.
The proposed regulations are needed and should be adopted as soon as possible and strengthened, said Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society.
“In particular, there should be a complete ban on e-cigarette advertising on TV and Radio,” Cunningham said.
The suggested ban covers youth-oriented programming. Cunningham questions whether that includes NHL and professional football games.
“They do signal that they’re going to ban advertising on social media platforms, and that’s important,” he said.
“Some of the companies are paying social media influencers to promote their brand on social media where youth have a lot of access.”