Article by Robert Benzie, Toronto Star
Premier Doug Ford has halted new anti-vaping rules so his fledgling Progressive Conservative government can get a handle on the impact of health measures that have affected medical cannabis users.
“The changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act that were set to come into effect on July 1 … are being paused to give the new government the opportunity to carefully review the new regulations related to vaping,” Ford’s spokesman Simon Jefferies said Wednesday.
Jefferies said the move will allow the new government to “work with the public, experts, and businesses to re-examine the evidence related to vaping as a smoking-cessation tool to ensure that any changes are in the best interests of everyone and protect Ontarians’ health and safety.”
“The current provisions in the Smoke Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act remain in effect and will continue to be enforced,” he said.
But critics warn the pause has health consequences.
Michael Perley, the director of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, said absent the regulations vaping would effectively be legal on schoolyards.
“Kids could vape on school property as of Sept. 4. Without the pause, they wouldn’t be able to,” Perley said in an interview.