PEI

Health officials crack down on high potency nicotine vapes

P.E.I. health officials are cracking down on the sale of the more potent nicotine vapes. New federal regulations come into effect July 23 that ban retailers from selling them.

P.E.I. Lung Association pleased with new ban

The sale of vaping products with a nicotine concentration higher than 20 mg/ml will be banned as of July 23. Health Canada has brought in the new regulations across the country. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Health officials are cracking down on the sale of high potency nicotine vapes. New federal regulations come into effect July 23 that will ban retailers from selling them.

The ban affects vaping products with a nicotine concentration higher than 20 mg/ml. Currently, the products come in stronger versions of 35 milligrams and 50 milligrams and higher.

"This has huge significance.… I think that people won't get as addicted to these products when they're using them and current users of vapes will find it easier when they quit," said Julia Hartley, co-ordinator with the P.E.I. Lung Association.

"They won't be getting as much nicotine and they'll find it easier to get off these products and that's what he hope," she said.

The P.E.I. Lung Association hopes the ban on high potency vapes leads to fewer people becoming addicted to the nicotine. (Brian Higgins/CBC )

The changes come into effect July 8, however Health Canada is giving retailers two weeks grace to remove the products from shelves and return them to the manufacturer, or take them to Island Waste Management for disposal.

Concern over youth addiction

The new rules were brought in out of concern over potential nicotine addiction, especially among youth.

The P.E.I. government started sending out written notices to retailers late last month.

The notice said the use of e-cigarettes, or vapes, is rapidly increasing in Canada.

"A 2021 Heart and Stroke Foundation study into youth vaping found that 75 per cent of Prince Edward Island youth used more than 50 mg/ml of nicotine in their vaping products," it said.

Earlier this year P.E.I. took other steps to restrict vape sales, by raising the age to buy from 19 to 21 and putting a ban on all flavoured products.

"I know there was a recent compliance check done by the Chief Public Health Office and there was found that a lot of the shops weren't compliant with the flavour ban, so I hope that we can continue to ensure that these legislations are enforced properly," said Hartley.

The Lung Association says the ban on high potency vapes — like the ban on flavoured products —  will need to be backed up with continuing enforcement.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Brian Higgins

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