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B.C. moves to tax and restrict vaping products to protect youth

Last Updated Nov 14, 2019 at 9:12 pm PST

Summary

New regulations around young people and vaping were announced Thursday in B.C.

Health Canada said last week that the province may now have three possible vaping-related illnesses

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government will restrict the amount of nicotine in vapour pods and is increasing the provincial sales tax by 13 per cent on products in a move to protect youth from the health risks of vaping.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said at a news conference on Thursday that youth vaping rates are increasing, putting young people at risk of serious illness, prompting the government to introduce the most comprehensive vaping plan in Canada.

Dix said the new regulations, which come into force in the spring of 2020, will also prevent advertising of vapour products in areas where youth spend time, including bus shelters and community parks.

The minister said the government will introduce legislation this month that boosts the provincial sales tax on vaping products from seven per cent to 20 per cent.

The launch of the regulations will also be supported by a social media campaign, led by B.C. youth.

“When young people are the ones driving change, we know it gives their peers the energy and motivation to be part of the solution,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “That’s why we are supporting our youth with resources and information to help them take on an industry that has targeted them for glamourized addiction.”

The B.C. School Trustees Association had asked the government for help, saying many districts in B.C. are spending too much time monitoring and addressing the problem of vaping in schools.

Health Canada said last week that the province may now have three possible vaping-related illnesses and the provincial health officer said the number was likely to rise as more of the illnesses were reported and investigated.

Health Canada has issued a warning to people who vape to monitor themselves for symptoms of vaping-related pulmonary illness following hundreds of such cases in the United States and a few in Canada.