British Columbia’s Vaping Crackdown Could Set a Precedent for Other Countries

Christopher Labos

In Canada, the government of British Columbia is cracking down on vaping products. The plan is to reduce nicotine content, limit access to flavoured pods, mandate plain packaging with health warnings and raise the tax on vaping products to 20 per cent.

Read more: Popcorn lung: Teen first case of life-threatening vaping injury

The rationale is simple. E-cigarettes have exploded in popularity around the world in recent years, especially among teens. Between 2011 and 2018, the proportion of high school students in the United States that use e-cigarettes increased more than 10-fold to 20.8 per cent from 1.5 per cent.

With all the cases of vaping-related lung disease in the U.S. and Canada, it’s not surprising to hear this described as “an epidemic that begs for an urgent response.”

The B.C. government has just such a response in mind.

The lure of fruity flavours

E-cigarettes are popular for a number of reasons. One is that they are marketed directly to school children.

As an example, recently the FDA sent a warning letter to Juul Labs about their advertising, specifically citing a school visit where a representative claimed that their product was “totally safe” and stated that a student “…should mention JUUL to his (nicotine-addicted) friend … because that’s a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes, and it would be better for the kid to use.”

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