(Toronto – December 19, 2019) – Yesterday, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released, Guiding Policy Principles for Tobacco and Vaping Products – the third and final report in a series on social responsibility also covering cannabis and beverage alcohol.
The newly-released report notes that rates of cigarette smoking are declining while vaping rates are rising. It raises questions surrounding the evolving tobacco and vaping landscape, and provides policymakers with a series of recommendations to address both issues well-known to government and emerging areas of concern.
“Transformations in product offerings and consumer habits have led to an environment where both regulation and cessation supports are increasingly out of date,” said Ashley Challinor, Vice President, Policy at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “As tobacco and vaping products evolve, it is imperative that federal and provincial government regulations, taxes, and cessation programs keep pace.”
The report grapples with the challenges raised by the growth in vaping, particularly among young people. With questions still unanswered about the long-term health effects of vaping, the report suggests that policy makers have to quickly catch up.
Guiding Policy Principles for Tobacco and Vaping Products makes 12 recommendations, including:
- Developing a research roadmap on vaping in partnership with relevant stakeholders, examining the short- and long-term health risks associated with prolonged vaping, the effects of second-hand aerosol, and vaping’s effectiveness as a smoking cessation device.
- Taking action on the persistent challenge of contraband tobacco in Ontario by conducting a feasibility study on Quebec’s approach to tackling contraband—where the province poured more resources into enforcement and saw positive results—to determine whether this approach could be replicated in this province.
- Monitoring smoking and vaping rates to identify those demographics most likely to smoke to ensure anti-smoking campaigns and cessation supports are up-to-date, relevant, and effective.
- Supporting employers in industries with high smoking rates (such as the trades, transportation and utilities) to introduce cessation supports in the workplace.
“Government will need to work with a range of stakeholders – including public health officials, industry, and First Nations communities – to safeguard public health, combat the contraband market, promote effective and targeted harm reduction strategies, and deter youth consumption,” added Challinor.