The British Columbia government introduced a 10-point plan Thursday to protect youth from the health risks of vaping that includes cutting nicotine content in vapour pods, restricting flavours aimed at young people, increasing taxes on products and supporting youth-led anti-vaping campaigns.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said youth vaping rates are increasing, putting young people at risk of serious illness, prompting the government to introduce the most comprehensive vaping plan in Canada.

“In a short number of years, vaping has shifted from being a smoking cessation tool for adults to an addictions trap for our youth,” he said during a news conference.

Dix cited data from a British Medical Journal report that youth vaping rates have increased 74 per cent between 2017 and 2018.

Vaping-associated illness cases have been reported across Canada, with three suspected cases in B.C., said Dix.

The government will introduce new regulations that take effect in the spring of 2020 that restrict the amount of nicotine in vapour pods, require health warnings and prevent advertising of vapour products in areas where youth spend time, including bus shelters and community parks.

Vaping juice comes in a variety of flavours like vanilla, cotton candy or berry, and Dix said the sale of such flavours would only be permitted in age-restricted outlets where vapour products are sold.

“We wanted to target the issue of flavours and limit it dramatically,” he said. “We will be restricting access to certain flavours and only allowing other flavours, other than tobacco flavours, in adult-only stores. That’s a significant step.”

Dix said he was optimistic the federal government will soon join B.C. in adopting nationwide vaping measures.

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Dirk Meissner – National Post – Novemner 14, 2019.

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