Province cracks down on vaping restrictions to protect youth
The B.C. Government is launching a new set of vaping and e-cigarette restrictions in an effort to protect youth, according to an announcement made by the province Thursday.
The proposed restrictions include limiting where vapour products can be purchased, reducing the amount of nicotine content in e-cigarettes, increasing taxes on vapour product and more.
"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 in a news release.
"As a result, youth vaping rates are rising, putting them at risk for addiction and serious illness."
Specifically, the regulations will include restricting the amount of nicotine in vapour pods and liquids to 20mg/ml and require plain packaging which include health warnings on all products.
A higher tax rate for all vaping products will also be introduced, raising the current provincial sales tax from 7 per cent to 20 per cent. The vaping specific tax hike will make B.C. the first province in Canada to introduce a higher tax rate for vapour products.
At a news conference Thursday, Dix noted that while vaping may be a better alternative to smoking for adults, an alarming amount of youth have taken up the habit.
"In a short number of years, vaping has shifted from being a smoking cessation tool for adults to an addiction trap for youths," Dix said. "You don't need studies to see this."
In October, B.C. school trustees called on the provincial government and federal government to provide funding for schools to teach vape education and cessation to students.
Following a period of stakeholder engagement, the government plants to roll out the stricter regulations in spring 2020.