Health Canada is so desperate to get teens to quit vaping that they're asking social media celebrities for help. The health ministry is concerned that vaping has infiltrated mainstream culture, getting kids hooked on nicotine and serving as a gateway to cigarettes and tobacco.
Health Canada notes that nicotine is proven to have significant harmful effects on young people, whose brains are still developing. This fall, they're launching an entire campaign to make teens more aware of the risks.
But, to make sure their campaign actually has an impact, Health Canada is enlisting the help of social media influencers, particularly those with a teenage fanbase. The influencers will be responsible for spreading the word and attending events to spread Health Canada's message about the dangers of vaping.
“Canadians look for information from a variety of sources, and youth, in particular, are more likely to engage with other influencers beyond government, or health professionals,” one Health Canada spokesperson says.
According to the 2016-17 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, 10% of students in grades 7-12 had vaped in the last 30 days, and 23% said that they'd tried it before.
The Canadian government is already cracking down on underage access to vaping and e-cigarettes. Under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, minors aren't legally allowed to purchase vape products in Canada.
Vape companies are banned from luring minors with candy flavoured vape liquids, and are prohibited from using "testimonials, health claims or lifestyle themes" in their marketing material.
Source: Huffington Post Canada