Canada to ban vaping ads aimed at youth

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 20 2019 10:46 AM | Updated as of Dec 20 2019 10:47 AM

A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture, Sept. 19, 2019. Adnan Abidi, Reuters/File

OTTAWA — Concerned by a sudden rise in youth vaping, Canada's health minister on Thursday announced a ban on advertising for vaping products targeting young people.

Marketing of the products would be allowed only in specialty shops, businesses and websites accessible by adults, and banned elsewhere, including convenience stores and billboards.

Ottawa also proposed mandatory health warnings on vaping product packaging, which would have to be made childproof, and limiting their nicotine content.

"The latest statistics -- which show that vaping has doubled among high school students -- are alarming," Health Minister Patty Hajdu said.

"The new measures announced today will help, but there is more to do," she said.

According to a government survey, e-cigarette usage rates doubled among students in grades 7 to 12 in 2018-2019 from the previous 2 years.

Twenty percent of students, or approximately 418,000 people, had reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, an increase from 10 percent in 2016-2017. 

The new regulations are to take effect in the coming months.

The move follows a major health crisis tied to vaping: an acute lung illness epidemic that has killed more than 50 people and sickened more than 2,500 in the United States. 

The illness was later linked to a substance called vitamin E acetate, which is used as a thickening agent for vaping products containing the main psychoactive substance of cannabis -- THC -- that are often sold on the black market.

In Canada, a 17-year-old nearly lost his lungs after 5 months of intensive vaping, but the ingredient suspected of doing the damage, diacetyl, is different from the substance US authorities blame for dozens of deaths.

© Agence France-Presse