Canadian Cancer Society calls for all political parties to commit to youth vaping legislation in platforms

New Brunswick lags far behind other Maritime Provinces in curbing youth vaping

August 31, 2020 (Saint John, New Brunswick): The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on all political parties to adopt meaningful and actionable platform commitments to address significant gaps in cancer prevention and support for those living with cancer and have identified two key issues.  The first priority is an essential component of combating the current youth vaping culture in New Brunswick as outlined in this video (see here), with a clear message: governments need to do more to address youth vaping and increasing the minimum age to 21 is a strong start. “Vaping rates in New Brunswick are reaching epidemic levels. We need government to take strong immediate action by passing a suite of comprehensive measures designed to reduce vaping rates amongst youth,” says Lana Randell, Advocacy Coordinator.

During the 2020 New Brunswick Provincial Election, we continue to encourage the government and all Members of Legislative Assembly to highlight the ongoing tobacco epidemic and create effective policies that will promote healthier lifestyles, protect the next generation of Canadians and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

Effective action on vaping must include key policy measures, such as raising the minimum age for e-cigarettes and tobacco to 21, restricting e-cigarette sales to adult-only locations, and removing flavours from e-cigarettes, taxation, amongst others.  Earlier this year, Prince Edward Island adopted legislation to increase the minimum smoking and vaping age to 21 and restrict sales of e-cigarettes to adult-only locations and just announced regulations to eliminate the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes.  Nova Scotia recently implemented regulations to eliminate the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes, cap nicotine levels at 20mg/ml, and a taxation structure on e-cigarette products and e-juice.

A 2019 study, led by Professor David Hammond of the University of Waterloo, found that among those 16-19 years old, vaping increased by a stunning 112% from 2017 to 2019, from 8.4% to 17.8%. “The e-cigarette industry has designed a persuasive and enticing market for youth, and the growing use and popularity of vaping products is a direct threat to the progress made in tobacco control,” says Randell.  “Governments have an opportunity to stem the tide of this growing crisis, and we urge them to act swiftly and decisively.”

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, which is why CCS urges the provincial government to adopt a minimum age of 21. The vast majority of smokers begin smoking before the age of 19 and many of them get and stay addicted. A recent report by the Institute of Medicine concluded that increasing the minimum tobacco sales age to 21 in the U.S. would reduce smoking rates among 15- to 17-year-olds by 25%, and among 18 and 19-year-olds by 15%.  (Video)

The Canadian Cancer Society has identified a second key priority with the need to expedite the implementation of the already approved and funded Palliative Care Strategy to improve access to palliative care for the people of New Brunswick, with cancer patients comprising approximately 80% of patients who receive palliative care.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and shape health policies to prevent cancer and support those living with the disease.

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For more information, please contact:

Lana Randell
Canadian Cancer Society