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Despite World Class Measures to Make Tobacco Unappealing Canada Is Falling Behind in Vaping Legislation

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Canada’s Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, which legalized vaping products with nicotine, passed in May 2018, but the regulations put forth were not sufficient to protect youth from vaping.

Canada is taking a big step as a world leader in tobacco control. Strict plain and standardized packaging rules for tobacco passed in the spring and came into effect on November 9. Unfortunately, and potentially tragically, we are falling far behind in another vital area of nicotine consumption and addiction – vaping.

Other countries and jurisdictions are either already way ahead of us or will be soon.

Canada’s Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, which legalized vaping products with nicotine, passed in May 2018, but the regulations put forth were not sufficient to protect youth from vaping.

Meanwhile, Manitoba, Quebec and PEI have passed stronger provincial regulations to address youth vaping. A few weeks ago, Saskatchewan introduced and passed vaping legislation in a record two days thanks to the entire legislative assembly working together. BC just proposed the most comprehensive restrictions including a cap on nicotine levels, plain packaging with a health warning, increased taxes and limits around advertising and Nova Scotia is the first province to ban flavours.

As a result, there is a patchwork of provisions for regulating vaping equipment and products across the country as some provinces step up and take action in the face of poor federal direction.

This means that kids in some provinces are benefiting from better protection than others, and Canada’s youth will pay a high price for this regulatory gap. While federal policy-makers seem to be sitting on the sidelines, our youth are busy vaping.

According to a study out of the University of Waterloo published earlier this year, vaping among Canadian youth skyrocketed by 74 per cent in one year. In the same timeframe, youth smoking rates for tobacco jumped by 45 per cent, from 10.7 per cent to 15.5 per cent, the first time such rates have gone up substantially in decades. The increase brings the rate of youth smoking in line with all Canadians age 15-plus, indicating our progress in tobacco control is at risk.

Why is this happening? Nicotine is highly addictive and vaping makes nicotine uptake far easier and more pleasant than smoking cigarettes. Nicotine can be inhaled without combustion smoke and with wonderful chocolate or sweet fruit flavour. In fact, there are hundreds of fruit, sweet and dessert flavours available, many with fun, cool names like ‘Sour Skittles,’ ‘Salted Caramel’ and ‘Sugar Cookie.’ They are designed specifically to appeal to youth and play a big role in enticing them to start and continue vaping. They are advertised heavily – including through lifestyle marketing – on social media.

Vaping is an easy and tasty way for kids to get addicted to nicotine and can be as hard to quit as smoking. Besides creating an addiction which could lead to tobacco smoking, nicotine alters adolescent brain development and can affect memory and concentration, potentially hampering their ability to learn.

A 2018 review by Public Health Ontario concluded that vaping is associated with an increased risk of starting to smoke, even among youth considered to be at low risk of doing so. Of additional serious concern are the more recent reports of severe lung damage among young people who have been vaping and premature deaths.

Sourced  from: goodmenproject.com

Sounds a little like New Zealand’s  current position on vaping.

Vaping and clinical depression linked, but big questions remain

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