Campaigns and Issues

Surge in Teen Vaping Requires Government Regulation


According to recent research earlier this year from Dr. David Hammond at the University of Waterloo, youth vaping rates in Canada have increased significantly and, even more troubling, so have youth smoking rates. The study found that among those 16-19 years old, vaping increased by a stunning 74% from 2017 to 2018, from 8.4% to 14.6%. The study was conducted in August/September 2017 and again in August/September 2018.

After the research was released, organizations like the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Canadian Cancer Society sent out media releases calling governments to take immediate action.

BC Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, responded to the Canadian Cancer Society statement agreeing with the call to action to address the increase in youth vaping. He noted the BC government had responded to the federal consultation on vaping with 4 recommendations:

  1. restricting the concentration and delivery of nicotine;
  2. restriction to the promotion and sale of flavoured vaping products;
  3. restrictions on advertising of vaping products;
  4. measures aimed at reducing youth appeal of the vaping device itself

Minister Dix stated that BC also endorsed the implementation of six measures noted in the federal consultation summary report:

  1. Requiring that online retailers post information advising prospective customers that the sale of vaping and tobacco products are restricted to persons of legal age;
  2. Requiring two-step age verification for online retailing, like the age verification system in place in B.C. for online cannabis ordering;
  3. Requiring that packages containing vaping or tobacco products bear a prescribed label that reads ‘Age verification required at delivery’;
  4. Requiring a signature upon delivery and prohibiting packages from being left on doorsteps;
  5. Restricting delivery to prescribed carriers; and
  6. Restricting online retailing to retailers that utilize third-party age-verification services.

Learn more:
CBC News: B.C. health minister calls for federal action on vaping after study shows surge in teen use
CBC News: Advertising restrictions needed to curb vaping among youth, researchers say
CBC News: Vaping among Canadian teens spikes by 74% in 1 year, Waterloo study finds
Similar research done in Texas: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Marketing and Initiation Among Youth and Young Adults