Beginning on 1st January, 2020, convenience stores will be prohibited from displaying advertising for vapor products. This decision was reached in response to the emergence of medical patients displaying symptoms which match those of acute lipoid pneumonia cases in the United States.
Despite clarification from the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an abundance of headlines which inaccurately conflate the use of regulated nicotine vapor products and black market THC products (often cut with Vitamin E acetate) has led governments in both countries to crack down on the former, according to ATHRA.
The specific catalyst for this response from Ontario’s provincial government, according to reporting from CP24, is a September case of a minor who was placed on life support to treat the condition. Shortly after learning of this case, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot directed provincial medical facilities to begin collecting and collating statistical data on similar cases. Said Elliot in a mid-September statement:
“In light of the growing evidence, I have become increasingly concerned about the prevalence and possible health consequences of vaping, particularly as they affect our youth.”
As a reminder to readers, the city of Toronto will also be requiring retailers who sell vapor products, including the city’s approximately 78 vape shops, to acquire licenses in order to continue to sell vapor products. The initial cost for such a license is $645, with its annual renewal fee set at $315.
While both measures are likely to prove to have some effectiveness as “gatekeeping” strategies to keep legitimate, regulated and quality controlled nicotine vapor products out of the hands of all but the most determined minors, or those with adult accomplices, neither addresses the culprit in acute lipoid pneumonia cases: unregulated black market products whose manufacturing methods and constituent ingredients are culpable in these cases. Until investigation and elimination of the products which are actually at fault takes place, authorities are simply missing the mark.