Plea for Nova Scotia to Crackdown on Vaping

As of late, Nova Scotia health groups such as Nova Scotia Lung, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Smoke Free Nova Scotia have been demanding the government crackdown on the youth vaping epidemic in the province of Nova Scotia.

On Tuesday, November 13th members of these associations presented a set of policy changes to the government. 

During these presentations, some astounding facts were drawn to the publics’ attention. A recent study found youth e-cigarette use has skyrocketed in Canada by 74 percent between 2017 and 2018. Additionally, the medical journal The Lancet found that vaping had increased among 16-19 year-olds in Canada and the U.S between 2017 and 2018.

As pointed out by the groups encouraging a vaping crackdown, these numbers should raise major concerns in the publics’ eyes. The kids vaping underage are subjecting themselves to the harm that the devices contain.

Kelly Cull, Representative of the Canadian Cancer Society, told Nova Scotia’s health committee on Tuesday that as a province, “we need to turn back the clock. Five years ago most high school teens didn’t even know what an e-cigarette was”.

These groups presented policy changes including upping the minimum age for e-cigarette and tobacco use from 19 to 21, banning sales except in adult-only specialty shops, eliminating internet sales and restricting e-cigarette flavours.

All of these suggestions provide less incentive for underage students to attempt to buy e-cigarettes and vapes. Particularly by restricting the number of juice flavours sold, these groups are hoping that students won’t enjoy vaping as the leisurely activity that they currently do.

The legislative health committee announced, following the presentations, that they would ensure these suggestions are heard by the province and its health department.

President of the Lung Association of Nova Scotia Robert MacDonald had mentioned that these suggestions are largely based on past experiences of tobacco control.

“A lot of the strategies that were used at the time were very effective and I think they can be applied to vaping as well,” he said in an interview.

 Vaping has been proven to be a gateway for smoking cigarettes and these associations intend to stop that from happening to today’s youth.

Last month, Premier Stephen McNeil announced that his government is currently looking at banning flavoured vaping products and a series of regulatory changes were being considered.

It is up to the government now to take these policy suggestions and decide what to do. All groups that presented Tuesday have strong hopes the government will crack down on vaping but only time will tell with matters like these.

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Author: Mike Finnigan

Mike Finnigan is a first-year Psychology major