Vaping among youth a growing concern in Hamilton: Public Health
Published October 2, 2023 at 12:22 pm
Youth vaping has become a growing and concerning health issue in Hamilton.
The City of Hamilton’s Public Health Services says it’s concerned about access to and use of vapour products among minors.
“Nicotine impacts the development of the teenage brain, affecting learning, memory and concentration,” the city says in a press release today (Oct. 2). “Evidence shows that youth who vape are more likely to begin smoking cigarettes.”
The city is launching a campaign about the sale and supply of vapour products to minors. The campaign is running in Hamilton over the coming months to educate retailers, their employees, parents/caregivers and peers.
This will include parent education sessions, retailer resources and marketing.
The Province’s Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 prohibits the sale or supply of vapour products to anyone under the age of 19 and carries a $490 fine for violations.
But recent data shows high sales of vapour products to minors in Hamilton, with almost 60 charges to date in 2023.
Illegal vapour products have been seized, including high nicotine concentration and flavoured vapour products, which resulted in fines issued to owners and operators of retail establishments. A list of all the shops charged in Hamilton can be found on the city’s website here.
And data from the 2022 Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey shows that 30 per cent of youth ages 15 to 19 years have tried vaping in their lifetime, while 13.6 per cent report past 30-day use of vapour products.
The city suggests parents also play a role in teaching children about the dangers of vaping.
“As a community, it is our collective responsibility to reduce youth access to vapour products in order to protect Hamilton’s youth from the negative health impacts of nicotine use and addiction, ” says Dr. Elizabeth Richardson in the release.
“Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in influencing their children’s choices and must educate themselves about the harms of vaping. Retailers and employees can ensure that they are part of the solution by diligently checking identification of all customers who appear less than 25 years old.”
For more information or to file a complaint about retailers selling vapour products to minors, residents can call the Tobacco Hotline at (905) 540-5566 or email [email protected].
Learn more on the City of Hamilton website at www.hamilton.ca/tobacco.inthehammer's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising