B.C. government to tax and restrict vaping products in effort to help youth

B.C. government to tax and restrict vaping products in effort to help youth
The B.C. government announces vaping restrictions on Nov. 14, 2019, in Victoria.

The B.C. government says it will be increasing taxes on vaping products and restricting the amount of nicotine in vapour pods in an effort to protect youth from the health risks of vaping.

The new regulations, which will be in place by spring 2020, will restrict the amount of nicotine in vapour pods and liquid to 20mg/ml and will require plain packaging for vapour products that include health warnings.

“Some vaping manufacturers are using flavours and advertising to entice and normalize vaping for youth – introducing a new generation to very high levels of a very addictive drug,” Miniter of Health Adrian Dix said. “As a result, youth vaping rates are rising, putting them at risk for addiction and serious illness. That’s why we are bringing in the most comprehensive plan in the country, and supporting young people to end this dangerous trend.”

Public advertising of vapour products will also be restricted in areas where youth spend time, such as bus shelters or community parks. The sale of vapour flavours, other than tobacco flavours, will only be allowed in age-restricted shops.

The provincial government will also be introducing legislation later in November to increase the provincial sales tax rate applies to vaping products from seven per to 20 per cent, which would make British Columbia the first province in Canada to introduce a specific tax rate related to vaping products.

If the legislation passes, new tax rate would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 and would be applied to all vaping devices, the substance or juice that is used with the vaping device and any vaping part or accessory.

Dix also says the federal government needs to bring in national regulations that address vapour product wholesalers.

“Until they do, there will be a black market of non-compliant vapour products from other jurisdictions that can make their way into our province, our schools and the lungs of our young people,” Dix said.

The government said there will be a youth-led anti-vaping social media campaign and the  B.C. Lung Association will be working with youth to build a vaping prevention toolkit that has been piloted in some schools.

The province’s quit-smoking resource, QuitNow, will be updated to include new quit-vaping resources for youth.

“It’s time we addressed the rapidly growing use of vapes by young people in B.C., as vape advertising and the draw of vapes for youth become even more attractive and deadly. We have years of successful and effective anti-smoking efforts already, and it’s beyond time we turned to solve the problem of a new generation of young people addicted to nicotine,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

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.




Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!