Victoria – As a poll from Reasearch Co is out showing large proportion of Canadians support enacting a temporary prohibition on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes, comes action from the Province.
The Province will restrict vapour product access, flavours, nicotine content, packaging and advertising, and intends to increase taxes on vapour products, to protect youth from risks associated with vaping.
“Some vaping manufacturers are using flavours and advertising to entice and normalize vaping for youth – introducing a new generation to very high levels of a very addictive drug,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “As a result, youth vaping rates are rising, putting them at risk for addiction and serious illness. That’s why we are bringing in the most comprehensive plan in the country, and supporting young people to end this dangerous trend.”
The new regulations will restrict the amount of nicotine in vapour pods and liquid to 20mg/ml and will require plain packaging for vapour products that include health warnings. Public advertising of vapour products will also be restricted in areas where youth spend time, such as bus shelters or community parks. The sale of vapour flavours, other than tobacco flavours, will only be allowed in age-restricted shops.
A new 20 per cent PST rate will be imposed on vape products (Up from 7%).
The regulations will come into force in spring 2020, following stakeholder engagement.
The Province has partnered with the B.C. Lung Association to work with youth to build a vaping prevention toolkit that has been piloted in some schools. This initiative will begin expanding immediately to schools across the province, providing information for educators, parents and youth to use when having discussions and making choices about vaping.
The Province’s quit-smoking resource, QuitNow, will be updated to include new quit-vaping resources for youth.
“Vaping is a serious community health issue that has made its way into our schools. B.C.’s boards of education are pleased with this comprehensive plan from government to address the issue,” said Stephanie Higginson, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association (BCSTA).
Changes to vaping regulations announced this morning include new legislation to increase the provincial sales tax on vaping products, restrictions on the amount of nicotine in vapour pods and liquid and restrictions on the advertisement of vapour flavours that appeal to youth. Educational resources will include a youth-led anti-vaping social media campaign and educational resources for teachers and students on the risks of vaping. The province’s Quit Now program will be expanded to assist youth needing support with nicotine addiction.
“We applaud the addition of youth-led resources to help educators talk to students about the health risks these products pose. Expanding the Quit Now program to focus on young people will ensure youth across B.C. have age-appropriate programs available to them when they make the decision to quit vaping,” said Higginson.
“BCSTA has advocated for changes in provincial vaping regulations since members passed a motion urging action against youth vaping at our annual general meeting in April. Members passed a second motion urging educational resources for youth at our provincial council meeting October 26,” said Higginson. “We’re pleased that our advocacy, combined with advocacy from health professionals, health associations, educators and parents across the province has helped inform these new initiatives.”