Over the past several weeks, Chatham-Kent Public Health has received complaints and referrals regarding the illegal use of vapour products and vaping on school properties in contravention of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA).
As a result, the health unit Tobacco Enforcement Officer has handed out fines to seven students and will be increasing inspections and enforcement in and around school properties.
In addition to complaints occurring on school properties, transportation officials have also reported instances of students vaping on school buses and the health unit will be working with its school board partners in helping to prevent and address this behaviour as well.
As a reminder, the smoking or vaping of tobacco, cannabis, “e-vape juice” or “pods” is not
permitted on school properties and the 20 metres surrounding the school. Smoking or vaping on a school bus, or in any enclosed public place or workplace, is prohibited under the SFOA.
There are several fines associated with these types of violations that range from $305 for smoking or vaping on school properties to $490 for providing tobacco or vaping product to a minor.
As vapour products are becoming more available in retail environments and popular with
certain audiences, most especially youth, the health unit would like to highlight the following evidence from a recent report from Public Health Ontario:
• The effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a cessation aid for smokers is unclear.
• E-cigarette and vaping use is associated with subsequent tobacco use among youth.
• While chemical levels of second-hand exposure from e-cigarettes are lower than that of combustible tobacco cigarettes, this exposure could have the potential to lead to adverse health effects.
• Vaping is not recommended for those individuals who currently do not use tobacco.
• There is currently not enough information about the long-term health impacts of using vapour products.
For more information about the health or legal issues related to vaping, or to inquire about
cessation supports available, please contact the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519-
352-7270 or visit our website at www.CKPublicHealth.com/