The NWT’s Department of Health and Social Services is asking northerners for input on whether to ban some or all flavours of vapour products.
In March, the NWT’s Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act came into force. It regulates the display and advertisement of vaping products, as well as being the legislation that formally prohibits their sale and supply to minors.
With the act now in place, the territory is developing regulations to enforce its provisions – and asking residents for feedback.
In a news release on Thursday, the department said it is “working to determine the best approach to keeping vaping products out of the hands of our children and youth.”
Vaporizers are electronic devices that heat a liquid substance to produce vapour that is then inhaled. The liquid substances contain a number of chemicals and often also include nicotine.
A government discussion paper on the topic states that flavoured vaping products are “likely appealing, and contributing to the increased use by children and youth.”
According to a 2018 NWT Bureau of Statistics survey, a third of NWT residents aged 15 to 24 said they had tried vaping at least once.
Twenty percent of residents that tried vaping said they did so because they liked the flavours.
The discussion paper says that when vaping was first introduced to Canada in the mid-2000s, it was originally marketed as an alternative to smoking and believed to be less harmful than cigarettes.
However, there have been hundreds of cases of vaping-related illnesses documented in North America. The long-term risks to users’ health are still unknown.