FILE PHOTO: Canada’s Minister of Health Patty Hajdu speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Blair Gable
(Reuters) – Canada’s minister of health, Patty Hajdu, on Thursday proposed banning promotion and advertising of vaping products in public spaces, convenience stores and online, in an effort to curb youth use of e-cigarettes.
Hajdu also announced new mandatory health warnings on vaping product packaging.
The proposed new regulations come amid growing fears surrounding vaping’s safety and mounting evidence that youth vaping is on the rise both among people who had once smoked and those who had not.
While e-cigarettes are marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes and a means to help smokers quit, health officials are concerned they are getting a new generation hooked on nicotine.
The number of Canadian teens who said they had vaped in the past month doubled from 10% to 20% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, according to the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey.
“The latest statistics … are alarming,” Hajdu said in a news release.
“We share the concerns of many parents, medical professionals and health officials,” she said. “We are working with experts and all Canadians to find ways to prevent youth from vaping. The new measures announced today will help, but there is more to do.”
A U.S. study released earlier this week found that e-cigarette use significantly increases the risk of developing chronic lung conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Bill Berkrot