New HEAL Study Examines How Changes in Provincial Policy on Vape Marketing Impacted the Distribution of Vaping Advertisements Near Secondary Schools in London, Ontario
On January 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario passed a regulation banning vaping advertisements by retailers, apart from specialty vape shops. A motivation for this ban was to limit youth exposure to vaping advertisements. A team of HEAL researchers Gina Martin, Drew Bowman, Megan Graat, Andrew Clark, Alexander J. Wray, Zoe Askwith, Jamie Seabrook, and Jason Gilliland examined how this change impacted the distribution of vaping advertisements present near secondary schools in London, Ontario. This work was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health.
The research team conducted audits to identify all vape advertisements visible from outdoors, within 800-metres of secondary schools both before and after the regulatory ban of vape advertisements. Prior to the ban, there were 266 vaping advertisements within 800-metres of secondary schools. After the ban, this was significantly reduced to 58, a 78.2% reduction. The average number of vaping advertisements surrounding schools significantly decreased from 18.1 before the ban to 3.6 after the ban.
The team also examined if the number of vaping advertisements varied by school socio-demographic characteristics. Prior to the ban, the number of vaping advertisements surrounding schools and school-level residential instability were significantly and positively related, but after the ban, no significant relationship was found.
The findings of this study show that the provincial ban of vaping advertisements in select retail settings significantly reduced the number of vaping advertisements in the areas surrounding secondary schools in London, Ontario. The ban also reduced socio-demographic inequities in youths’ potential exposure to marketing of vaping products.
Citation: Gina Martin, Drew Bowman, Megan Graat, Andrew Clark, Alexander J. Wray, Zoe Askwith, Jamie Seabrook and Jason Gilliland (2021) “Examining how changes in provincial policy on vape marketing impacted the distribution of vaping advertisements near secondary schools in London, Ontario.” Canadian Journal of Public Health; https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-020-00453-9