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Through a spokesperson, Health Canada issued a threat to the vaping industry.

In so many words, Maryse Durette told The Canadian Press the health organization is poised to get tough on regulations surrounding teen vaping.

Durette detailed in a January press release the two-phase plan Health Canada will deploy to highlight vaping’s potential health risks.

“The vaping market is evolving rapidly, with the regular introduction of new products into Canada,” Durette said. “We are aware of both anecdotal information and unpublished research showing increases in the rate at which Canadian youth are trying and using vaping products.”

Phase I of the Health Canada vaping campaign was kicked off in December. It featured paid social media advertisements angled to parents and urging them to talk to their children about the vague health risks associated with the relatively new vice.

Phase II of the Health Canada vaping campaign is scheduled to be launched during February and will target teens directly. Paid advertising and live educational events will be staged at community centers and high schools. Social media influencers have been contracted to help reach adolescents aged 13 to 18 years old and their parents, Durette said.

While a number of recent studies have determined vaping is significantly less risky than traditional cigarettes, a University of Michigan study claimed the number of teens vaping in 2018 more than doubled from 2017. The study, which was released during December, determined it was the “largest single-year increase” since the survey began in 1974. The rise in teen vaping last year far surpassed the marijuana spike of the mid-1970s, according to the federally funded study.

While Health Canada failed to put a number of teen vapers in Canada, The Canadian Press reported about one in five high school teens in the U.S. experimented with e-cigarettes, helping the market grow into a $6.6 billion business.

“Health Canada has the authority to implement further measures to address the potential harms of vaping,” she said. “The department will not hesitate to propose further restrictions, should they prove necessary in light of the emerging data on youth vaping.”

In other words, it’s time for Health Canada to get tough.

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