Moving Forward to Regulate Vaping

The more we learn about the health consequences of vaping, the worse it gets. Thankfully, when it comes to regulating vapour products we don’t have to reinvent the wheel – decades  of tobacco control has worked. The Toronto Board of Health voted unanimously this week to strongly urge the Provincial and Federal Governments - who have jurisdiction over the sale and advertising of vapour products - to regulate vaping just as we regulate smoking. The Board also directed that the City take action where we have jurisdiction, by working to amend our existing City of Toronto by-laws that prohibit smoking,  to incorporate similar prohibitions on vaping. This is in addition to the Board of Health taking a strong stand in 2014, making many of these same requests that went unanswered by Provincial and Federal governments.  

While vapour products, also known as e-cigarettes, are considered by some health authorities to be less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes, Health Canada and other health authorities have concluded that the long-term health effects from the use of these products are not yet fully known. Vaping can expose the user to nicotine, an addictive substance which is associated with negative impacts on adolescent brain development, and to other chemicals that are harmful to health. Use of vape products has also been shown to lead to subsequent tobacco smoking among youth and young adults. 

Without stringent regulation, vaping risks undermining decades of effective tobacco control. The Toronto Board of Health has voted to take stronger measures to reduce the prevalence of vaping. It’s time for all levels of government to act.