The Nova Scotia Progressive Conservatives are introducing a bill that will ban vaping for people under the age of 19.
According to a party press release, the amendments to the Tobacco Access Act would “provide increased restrictions on vaping products in an effort to address the growing number of young Nova Scotians who vape.
“We know there’s a lot of health risks associated to vaping and we know that too many young people are vaping, so this is a matter of public interest and something that should be discussed before the legislature,” Houston said.
Along with banning vaping for those under 19, the bill would include a ban on flavoured e-liquids and require a review of the legislation after five years.
Houston acknowledges there will be arguments to both sides of the bill, but says it’s more important to ensure that youth are protected.
“When you talk about the flavours, they’re something that attract the youth in many ways and we need to address that,” he said.
The Lung Association of Nova Scotia has reported that nearly 37 per cent of students from Grades 7 through 12 have tried an e-cigarette at least once, which is 61 per cent higher than the same rate among all Canadian students within that age range.
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Hundreds of Americans have reported having a vaping-related breathing illness, with the illness reported in almost every state.
There have been at least 12 deaths reported in the U.S. as a result of the illness, as well.
Health Canada said last week there are still no confirmed cases of vaping-related illness in Canada, despite a London, Ont., youth recently being put on life support as result of vaping.
The Nova Scotia Lung Association has been advocating all levels of government to crack down when it comes to vaping.
“We strongly recommend flavour bans and more stringent advertising restrictions on all vaping products,” said Dr. Mohammed Al-Hamdani, director of health initiatives for the lung association of Nova Scotia, in a statement.
Houston stated that the PCs are “optimistic” Health Minister Randy Delorey will be willing to have a “serious discussion” on vaping.