New Brunswick’s health minister says new legislation to tackle youth vaping is underway as opposition calls for more to be done.
Health Minister Dorothy Shephard this week introduced a bill that would create a registry of companies selling vaping products, as part of efforts to crack down on e-cigarette use by minors. Opposition parties have said the bill will not really solve the youth vaping problem, but Shephard says more is underway.
âThis is only the first bill introduced and it is about regulation and licensing, so there is more to come,â Shephard said Friday.
When asked if additional legislation could impose bans on flavored vaping juices and increase the age required to purchase vaping products, Shephard was blunt.
âFuckin ‘right,â she said.
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Liberal health critic Jean-Claude D’Amours introduced a bill in November to ban flavored vape juices, but the bill sat on the Order Paper for months. He says he wants to see the issue addressed by the government.
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âIf you look at a lot of organizations, what they’re looking for is really to eliminate flavors,â D’Amours said Thursday.
Green MP Megan Mitton wants New Brunswick to follow suit.
âThese are the types of policies that are really important in targeting youth vaping,â Mitton said.
The Canadian Cancer Society is also calling for more serious action to be taken to curb vaping among young people.
In the 2020-2021 New Brunswick Youth and Young Adult Vaping Survey, CCS found that 92% of young people who vape use flavored juices and 48% would stop vaping if the flavors were no longer available.
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The 2018-19 Youth Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Habits Survey conducted by the federal government found that 41% of New Brunswick youth had tried vaping, compared to a national average of 34%. The survey also found that 28% had used a vaping product in the past 30 days, compared to 20% nationally.
âEffective action against vaping must include key policy measures such as removing flavors from e-cigarettes, raising the minimum age for e-cigarettes and tobacco to 21, limiting e-cigarette sales to venues. reserved for adults and the implementation of a tax on electronic cigarettes, among others, âsaid a statement from CCS.
Shephard did not say when additional legislation to tackle youth vaping would be tabled.
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