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September 8, 2017


Protection and prevention for youth need to be at core of cannabis legislation 


TORONTO, September 8, 2017 - Any substance you smoke will affect your lung health and breathing. That is why The Lung Association is calling on the Government of Ontario to consider several key factors as they build out the new cannabis legislation from now until July 1, 2018. 

"We applaud the government’s direction in using a Control Board model for the sale and distribution of cannabis. We are also pleased that the minimum age to use, purchase and possess recreational cannabis in Ontario will be 19, although our recommendation had been 21, says George Habib, President & CEO of The Lung Association – Ontario.” However, much more still needs to be done to protect the lung health of our youth. We ask that the Ontario government work closely with key stakeholders who have a vested interest in the well-being of our youth to shape new policies and legislation around the use of cannabis. 

The Lung Association recommends that smoking of cannabis follow the laws currently in place for smoking of tobacco. Consideration needs to be given to several critical areas where an impact can be made on the health of youth: Cannabis smoking should be prohibited in all public spaces where smoking tobacco is currently restricted including, but not limited to restaurants and childcare facilities; prohibition should extend to cars with youth under 16 years of age; and the promotion of cannabis should follow rules similar to tobacco in terms of upcoming plain and standardized packaging requirements. 

The Lung Association urges the Government of Ontario to consult with stakeholders in the health arena in the development of an integrated prevention and harm reduction approach to educate and empower youth and young adults to make healthy life choices. 

About The Lung Association – Ontario 

Breathing. It's what unites us. It's what inspires us. And it's what keeps us pushing ahead, whether it's searching for cures to lung diseases, helping people to quit smoking and ensuring that children never start, or fighting for clean air. 

The Lung Association is the leading organization working to promote lung health and prevent and manage lung disease. We do this by funding vital research, pushing for improved treatments and better policies, and helping people manage their health. 


Media Contact 

Monica Kocsmaros, Director of Marketing and Communications 

The Lung Association 




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