Sudbury

NDP health critic introduces new bill to ban advertising of vaping products to youth

Nickel Belt NDP MPP and health critic France Gélinas introduced a new bill, Vaping is not for Kids, to prevent youth from taking up vaping

No evidence that vaping helps people quit smoking says NDP MPP France Gélinas

Ontario's NDP health critic France Gélinas introduced a new bill Nov. 27 that would help prevent youth from picking up vaping. (Tony Dejak, File/Associated Press)

When it comes to protecting young people from e-cigarettes and vaping, Ontario is painfully behind the pack, says Ontario NDP health critic France Gélinas.

The MPP for Nickel Belt introduced a new bill Nov. 27 that would require the Ministry of Health to take steps to prevent young people from starting vaping and becoming addicted to nicotine.

Vaping is not for Kids would ban the advertising of vaping products, regulate flavours, and restrict sales to specialty shops.

As well, Ontario Health would be required to prepare an annual report on vaping usage and health effects, and set aside tax money for research.

"I have seen with my own eyes how the vaping industry has targetted our youth," said Gélinas.

Gélinas said when she visited a number of schools in her riding this fall, she asked the students how many of them had tried vaping.

"Sometimes 70, 80 per cent of them would put their hands up," she said.

"There are so, so many young people, all of them below the age of 19, that are now addicted to nicotine, and we can't let that go any longer," she said.

Gélinas says there is no data to support that vaping helps people quit smoking. 

"Let's not use our youth as an unwilling guinea pig to find out that vaping was actually bad for your health," cautions Gélinas.

She says her bill has support from a number of health care agencies such as the Ontario Coalition Against Tobacco,  Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society, and from parents.

Gélinas says her bill passed first reading with all-party support but won't have a second reading until next fall.

"I'm hoping we won't have to wait until then," said Gélinas. "I'm hoping the Minister of Health will act, if not before Christmas, but at least in February when we come back so that it's done before next spring," said Gélinas. 
 

With files from Angela Gemmill

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