PC MLA asks government to increase vaping age, or ban products
'We need to avoid a new generation of teenagers being addicted to nicotine,' says Deagle
A Conservative backbencher on P.E.I. is calling on his government to raise the age to purchase vaping products on the Island to 21 from 19 — or even ban the sale of vaporizers altogether.
PC MLA Cory Deagle raised the issue in question period Friday.
"Being around the rink and the soccer fields all the time, I've seen youth first-hand that have started vaping, and it really has become an epidemic, I believe," he said.
Deagle cited a recent study showing a 74 per cent increase in youth vaping in Canada from 2017 to 2018.
"The results of this study regarding youth trends is of tremendous concern given the progress that has been made in recent years to reduce youth smoking," he said.
Near the end of June, CBC reported The Canadian Cancer Society is lobbying the P.E.I. government to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco and vaping products from 19 to 21.
"We need to avoid a new generation of teenagers being addicted to nicotine through vaping products," Deagle said.
Heath Department not ready to increase age
P.E.I.'s Health Minister James Aylward said he shares concerns about teen vaping, but he added his department is not considering changing legislation around vaping products at the moment.
"We're not quite at the stage yet where we would either increase the age or outright ban it," Aylward said about vaping.
Aylward said his department is increasing its mystery shopping program to ensure retailers are following the law.
The mystery shopper program sends individuals to retail locations to evaluate and comment on customer service, including whether retailers are asking for identification when selling tobacco products.