(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

Company granted leave to appeal Lemon Creek charges

Executive Flight Centre won a decision in the BC Court of Appeal

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

Castlegar non-profit’s stolen van located

Kootenay Society for Community Living’s van was stolen May 14.

Interior Health study offers take-home drug testing kits to spot fentanyl

Interior Health to evaluate safety of at home drug testing kits aimed at reducing fentanyl overdoses

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Most Read