Protecting children from tobacco and nicotine marketing is a core public health measure, which is why we and other health groups, and parliamentarians have called on Health Canada to include these types of promotional restrictions since they first proposed legalizing vaping in 2016.
Tragically, this measure will not by itself be strong enough or fast enough to adequately address the crisis of youth vaping. We know from decades of experience with youth smoking that comprehensive protective measures are needed. Urgently needed is a wide range of regulatory and programmatic activities at the federal level, such as:
- effective and meaningful restrictions on flavours,
- bans on additives that make it easier to become addicted to nicotine,
- an end to promotional pricing (including taxes)
- strong graphic health warnings,
- controls on the ornamental design of packaging and devices (plain packaging)
- public education,
- research and surveillance,
- industry reporting, including testing of emissions
- support for cessation,
- enforcement and industry accountability for the harms it causes.
The vaping experience of the past months have highlighted the weaknesses of Canada's regulatory system to respond to market-driven problems. The measures proposed today were promised by Health Canada last February, and several more months will pass before they will finally be in place. We look forward to working with Minister Hajdu and with parliamentarians to accelerate the implementation of these and other urgently-needed controls on the vaping market.
October 14, 2019: Statement from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health calling for comprehensive vaping controls:
"We reiterate our call from April: We need to create environments that prevent youth vaping by strengthening regulatory frameworks and policies that restrict the accessibility and availability of vaping products and reduce the appeal of such products to youth. This includes plain packaging, health warnings and regulating the sale and marketing of vaping products and flavourings, and putting in place school and community policies that reduce use and encourage positive youth development."