Members of the Nottawasaga Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have partnered with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) to raise awareness in local elementary schools of the dangers of vaping.
A variety of sources indicate an alarming increase in the use of e-cigarettes and vape products among Canadian youth. In an effort to prevent current or future use of these products, the Nottawasaga Detachment is taking action. Members of the Community Mobilization and Engagement Unit (CMEU) are proactively educating students, parents, caregivers and school staff on the dangers associated to vaping. The SMDHU has developed a comprehensive vaping “escape room” activity, which includes valuable information on the health effects, industry involvement of vaping, as well as resources for administrators to utilize to further educate students.
During the presentations, students have an opportunity to actively participate in four “escape rooms,” where they work collectively as a group to problem solve a situation, which provides them access out of the room. As the students progress through the rooms, they learn about the harmful effects of vaping.
By partnering with the SMDHU, officers have an opportunity to interact and build positive relationship with youth, educate them on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, and answer any questions in regards to enforcement of the Act:
- It is illegal to smoke tobacco or cannabis or vape in public areas within 20m of school property, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means a person must be at least two school bus lengths away from the edge of school property before smoking or vaping. Contravention of this law could result in a $305 fine.
- It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco products, e-cigarettes or e-liquid to anyone under 19 years of age. Contravention of this law could result in a $490 fine. Retailers are not allowed to sell any of these products to anyone under 19, and could face a fine up to $490 for contravening this law.
For more information regarding vaping education, please contact the SMDHU or refer to resources found at www.NotAnExperiment.ca. There are plenty of free resources for educators to download which can be located under the resource section of the site.