The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) hails Friday’s announcement from the Ontario government banning the promotion of vaping products in convenience stores and other retailers as an important first step in curbing the increase in youth vaping. Evidence indicates that youth who use e-cigarettes with nicotine may become addicted and are at increased risk of becoming smokers.
“Young people should not be exposed to advertisements for electronic cigarettes every time they walk into a convenience store,” says Stephen Piazza, Manager of Public Issues, CCS. “Restricting the advertising of these highly addictive products to adult-only specialty stores is an important first step in addressing the alarming increase in youth vaping rates.”
A recent study by University of Waterloo researchers published in the British Medical Journal found that youth vaping in Canada increased among people 16-19 years old by 74% in a single year, from 2017 to 2018. Friday’s announcement brings Ontario’s rules around promoting electronic cigarettes at retail in line with nine other Canadian provinces and territories.
“While this ban is a step in the right direction, more action is required if we hope to stop a new generation of young people from becoming addicted to nicotine through electronic cigarettes,” says Helena Sonea, Senior Manager of Public Issues, CCS. “At a minimum, the sale of flavoured vaping products must be prohibited at convenience stores and gas stations, and only allowed at adult-only specialty stores. We are also calling on the Ontario government to increase the minimum sales age for electronic cigarettes and tobacco products to age 21, as is the case in 18 U.S. states.”
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, killing 45,000 Canadians annually, including about 30% of all cancer deaths. There are still 5 million Canadians who smoke, representing 16% of the population aged 12+. An enormous amount of work needs to be done on a pressing basis to reduce youth vaping and to achieve the objective of under 5% of Canadians using tobacco by 2035.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Public Engagement & Advocacy Communications
Canadian Cancer Society