Flavoured vaping products are being banned in Nova Scotia to stop youth from vaping.
Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey announced Thursday there will be a total ban on all flavours of e-cigarettes and e-juices. Starting April 2020, only bland or tobacco juices will be available.
Delorey said the ban is important for the health of Nova Scotians, particularly youth.
“We saw what happened with traditional tobacco decades ago and we continue to live in a province, in a country, where our health-care system continues to pay the price for those negative health impacts,” Delorey said.
E-juices, the liquid that goes in e-cigarettes, are often flavoured, like chocolate or bubblegum. The juices contain toxic chemicals and nicotine. One single Juul pod can contain the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.
Recently, Smoke-Free Nova Scotia surveyed 670 youths, ages 16 to 24. The study found that over 48 per cent said they would quit if flavours were banned.
In a 2016-17 survey, 37 per cent of Nova Scotia students in grades 7 to 12 said they tried vaping, the highest rate in Canada. More than half of youth said flavour and smell was the main reason for trying vaping.
Kelly Cull, the regional director of public policy at the Canadian Cancer Society, was at the minister’s announcement. She said the hope is to ban online sales and increase the age of purchasing to 21, as seen in P.E.I.
“We need good public policy if we’re going to influence the vaping culture,” said Cull.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 2,290 cases of severe lung disease in the U.S. have been reported among people who vape, with 47 deaths. There have been 13 total cases reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada as of Tuesday.
Last week, P.E.I passed legislation to increase the legal age of buying tobacco and e-cigarettes from 19 to 21, making it the highest in the country. The legislation also restricts certain flavours.
Since May 31, 2015, vaping devices have been treated similarly to cigarettes under Nova Scotia laws. Vaping products must be kept out of view, unless minors aren’t allowed in the stores, and the legal buying age is 19. Under the Smoke-free Places Act, vaping is banned in any place smoking is.
But vaping products aren’t taxed like cigarettes.
Mohammed Al-Hamdani, the executive director of Smoke-Free Nova Scotia, welcomes the ban but wants to see taxation on vaping products.
“It will aggressively reduce youth vaping rates because they tend to be more price sensitive,” said Al-Hamdani.
The province plans on introducing legislation to further deal with vaping and will start a public education campaign in the new year.
About the author
Madeline Biso is a student journalist at University of King's College. Her main interests are investigative and data-driven stories. When not...