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Province to ban ads for vaping products in convenience stores

The province will ban ads promoting vaping products in Ontario convenience stores and gas stations beginning in January.

In a release from the Ministry of Health put out on Friday morning, the province says the new rules will mean that vapes and vape accessories can only be promoted inside specialty vape stores and cannabis retail stores — both of which are only open to people who are 19 and older.

“Restricting the promotion of vapour products will help prevent youth from being exposed and influenced by promotion in retail settings,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott in the release.

Health advocates had called on the Ontario government to take this step, arguing that it was one way to curb the growing trend of young people vaping and becoming addicted to nicotine. 

The ban also comes amid rising concerns about the health effects of vaping. In the U.S., more than 1,000 instances of vaping-related illnesses have been reported.

Friday’s release says that the shift comes after consultations, and is based on “new and emerging research from health experts that indicate vaping among Ontario’s youth is on the rise.”

It says that between 2017 and 2018, there was a 74 per cent increase in vaping among Canadians aged 16-19. 

The new rules will also bring vape products in line with the rules around promoting tobacco in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. 

The ban comes over a year after a similar one proposed by the former Liberal government was set to come into effect. 

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