HEAL youth advisory council bring a youth voice to Ontario’s new rules for vaping
The rising prevalence of vaping among teens is a growing public health concern. In response, the Government of Ontario has enacted new regulations restricting the sale of flavoured and high nicotine concentration vape products to specialty vape stores. Specialty vapes stores are also no longer allowed to have indoor advertisements visible from the outdoors. These regulations follow the ban of advertising promoting vape products in convenience stores and gas stations on January 1st 2020.
Former HEALYAC Member, Morgan Seabrook, and HEAL Director, Dr. Jason Gilliland, were featured on CBC Radio Windsor Morning with Tony Doucette to share their expertise and the HEALYAC’s perspectives on these new regulations.
Flavoured and high nicotine content vape products have been identified as both highly attractive and addictive, particularly among teens. As a result, the HEALYAC view the sale restrictions as an effective mechanism to reduce teens’ ease of access to these products.
The HEALYAC have also called for greater regulations around vape product advertisements, as research shows that the more teens are exposed to vape product advertisements, the more likely they are to use them. A recent HEAL study found significant reductions in the concentration of advertisements around schools, particularly in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, following the January 1st ban in London, Ontario.
As more research surrounding the health effects of vaping emerge, teens’ knowledge of the potential harms of vaping is also becoming a growing concern. Many teens are not aware of how vaping and high nicotine concentrations can affect their health and wellbeing. Ultimately, The HEALYAC calls for more work that talks to teens to understand why and how they vape to better inform meaningful youth-centred education and health promotion campaigns.
Check out the radio interview here!
The HEAL Youth Advisory Council (HEALYAC) from London, Ontario informs youth-related health research conducted by the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) at Western University. It represents the diverse voices and perspectives of 14 teenagers from across the city.