Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores

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In an attempt to deter youth from vaping following growing health concerns, the Ontario government has decided to enforce a ban on the promotion of vapor products in convenience stores and gas stations.

The announcement was made Friday that the ban will officially take effect on January 1, 2020 and that ads for vape products will only be allowed in specialty shops where patrons must be at least 19 to enter.

“Restricting the promotion of vapour products will help prevent youth from being exposed and influenced by promotion in retail settings,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a news release.

The announcement comes after multiple consultations following research that states an increasing number of youth are using vape products.

Most other provinces already have similar regulations in place.

“There are eight provinces that have e-cigarette legislation. The two that don’t are Alberta and Saskatchewan,” said Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society. “Ontario’s catching up to what other provinces have done. This is an important measure to protect Ontario youth.”

Not everyone agrees with the ban, especially those in the vape industry who believe it will be difficult for them to reach their target demographic of adults who are trying to quit smoking.

President of the Vaping Industry Trade Association Daniel David says that while he agrees with measures that stop youth from using these products, he does not agree with the ban.

“It feels like a bit of a knee-jerk reaction,” said David. “This only further damages the public perception of vaping as a less-harmful alternative to smoking.”

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1,600 people have become sick and 34 people have died due to a vaping-related illness. Most of the vapes that are said to have caused an illness were unregulated products purchased on the black market but the legal market is the one that will suffer.

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