(Electric Tobacconist/Flickr)

B.C. MLA wants to ban sale of flavoured nicotine juice to stop teens from vaping

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone introduced a private member’s bill in the legislature

  • May. 10, 2019 10:00 a.m.

Kamloops This Week

A Liberal MLA hopes his bid to curb vaping among youth will include help from the NDP.

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone introduced a private member’s bill in the legislature in early April, calling for three amendments to B.C.’s laws surrounding e-cigarettes to keep them out of the hands of young people.

The bill would see a ban on the sale of flavoured nicotine juices, which has made vaping appealing to youth, Stone said.

It would also restrict the sale of vaping products to adult-only tobacco stores and pharmacies and impose stiffer penalties for non-compliance with regulations.

Stone also called on the government to dole out more funding in order to implement vaping-prevention programs in all middle schools and high schools.

The fate of Stone’s bill lies in the hands of the B.C. NDP as only the government can call a private member’s bill for second reading and debate.

“Whether or not they do that, I don’t know. But I am heartened by the fact that Health Minister Adrian Dix has reached out to me,” Stone said.

“We have had several good conversations since I introduced the bill and I’m led to believe the government is committed to working with me and my Opposition colleagues to bring about the kind of changes that are proposed in my bill.”

READ MORE: Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Whether that’s done through his bill, the government’s own bill or other regulatory changes are details the health minister is now working through, Stone said.

It’s not common for private member’s bills to be called for debate, but Stone said vaping is an issue that appears to have unanimous support as all 87 MLAs supported the bill’s first reading.

“I think there will be action on this file at some point this year,” Stone said, noting he received positive reactions from both sides of the legislature’s aisle regarding his bill.

Stone said he introduced the bill because, as the father of three high school-aged girls, he has seen a rapid rise in vaping among teens, along with statistics suggesting its use is prevalent among youths.

“I’ve heard from countless parents, lots of teachers and administrators, who are very concerned about what has been deemed by health professionals as a very concerning trend in our schools and potential health epidemic for our youth,” he said.

Data from a recent Health Canada survey showed 23 per cent of students in grades 7 to12 have tried vaping — the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol produced by an electronic cigarette that heats a liquid, often flavoured and containing nicotine.

According to the federal agency, vaping nicotine can alter a teen’s brain development, increase exposure to harmful chemicals and lead to nicotine addiction.

The long-term health impacts of vaping on youth are unknown.

READ MORE: B.C. school locks bathrooms after too many students caught vaping

Vaping seems to have become a popular activity among Kamloops high school students, with multiple principals having noticed a rise in usage this school year.

Stone said he is confident eliminating flavoured vape juices would diminish the attractiveness of vaping to youth.

At the moment, he said, vaping products can be purchased “virtually anywhere,” but Stone believes restricting access will also help curb appeal.

Like cigarettes, it’s illegal in B.C. to sell vaping products to those under the age of 19. In addition, they cannot be sold in hospitals, schools, government facilities, public libraries or public sports facilities.

Penalties for breaching B.C.’s Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act can range from $345 to $575 and Stone said his bill would see a retailer lose the right to sell vaping products altogether upon a third offence.

Imposing stricter controls on online sales of vaping products wouldn’t fall under provincial purview, but Stone said it is an area he understands the government is looking at addressing.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

COLUMN: Search for Grace shows community’s true nature

As Chilliwack searches for missing woman, a writer looks back 61 years at a similar story

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

VIDEO: Agassiz farm spreads awareness for barn owls

Miel Bernstein hopes others will learn how they can help the threatened owl species

Fraser-Cascade school district hosts by-election to fill void left by passing of Tom Hendrickson

Advance voting begins on July 17, with general voting on July 27

Chilliwack cadet takes staff position in Comox

Air cadet one of about 20,000 youth enrolled in programs across Canada this summer

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Most Read