B.C. To Tax Vaping Products To Protect Youth After String Of Illnesses

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government will restrict the amount of nicotine in vapour pods and is increasing the provincial sales tax by 13 per cent on the products in a move to protect youth from the health risks of vaping.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says youth vaping rates are increasing, putting young people at risk of serious illness, prompting the government to introduce the most comprehensive vaping plan in Canada.

Dix says the new regulations, which come into force in the spring of 2020, will also prevent advertising of vapour products in areas where youth spend time, including bus shelters and community parks.

The minister says the government will introduce legislation this month that boosts the provincial sales tax on vaping products from seven per cent to 20 per cent.

The B.C. School Trustees Association has asked the government for help, saying many districts in B.C. are spending too much time monitoring and addressing the problem of vaping in schools.

Health Canada said last week that the province may now have three possible vaping-related illnesses and the provincial health officer said the number was likely to rise as more of the illnesses were reported and investigated.

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Health Canada has issued a warning to people who vape to monitor themselves for symptoms of vaping-related pulmonary illness following hundreds of such cases in the United States and a few in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2019.

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