PEI

P.E.I. vaping bill addresses 'epidemic in schools'

P.E.I. could soon have some of the strictest vaping laws in the country.

Bill would raise legal age to 21

Cory Deagle's private member's bill is one vote away from royal assent. (Legislative Assembly of P.E.I. )

P.E.I. could soon have some of the strictest vaping laws in the country.

A private members bill from PC MLA Cory Deagle passed second reading in the P.E.I. Legislature Tuesday night. The bill would restrict where vaping products can be sold, ban certain flavours, and also raise the legal age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes from 19 to 21.

Deagle said he wants to make vaping products less accessible to young people, especially teenagers.

"These substances, you become addicted to nicotine. In some cases there four or five, 20 times the amount of nicotine in an e-cigarette than there is in a regular cigarette," said Deagle.

"Teachers, principals have told me it's an epidemic in schools. And obviously with our youth tobacco rate double the national average and seeing a 74 per cent increase in vaping amongst youth in Canada, I think we have to do something."

The vote on the second reading was unanimous, with MLAs from all parties speaking in support of it. The discussion included the possibility of new taxes being introduced in the spring budget.

If the bill passes third reading and becomes law, P.E.I. would have the highest age restriction in the country.

Deagle said the bans on flavoured products would not come into effect right away. Those would be done through regulations in cabinet, which he said would likely be a year-long process.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Sarah MacMillan

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